At Brooke Sopelsa and the Associated Press
The Supreme Court again rejects a homosexual death row, inmates an appeal claiming that lawyers in South Dakota were biased against him because of their sexual orientation.
The judges did not comment on Monday when they left the death sentence for Charles Rhines.
The Rhine was convicted in Donnivan Schaeffer's stabbing death, 22, while he invaded a Rapid City donut shop in March 1992. A jury judged Rhines in 1993 and the Supreme Court confirmed his judgment and conviction in 1996.
His appeal followed the Supreme Court's 2017 ruling that evidence of racial aspect in the jury's room allows a judge to consider putting aside a judgment.
According to court documents included in Rhines apeal, several lawyers made comments on Rhine's sexuality and its impact on their decision to recommend the death penalty instead of life without the possibility of parole.
Jurid Harry Harryney in a swearing statement said the lawyers knew that Rhines "was homosexual and believed he could not spend his life with men in prison."
Jurid Bennett Blake, according to court documents, said there was "a lot of discussion on homosexuality "among the jury members and" a lot of jealousy. "
Jury Frances Cerosimo recalled in a 2016 statement of assurance that another jury member, whom she is not named," said if he is gay, we would send him where he would go if we voted for "life without opportunity for parole.
The NAACP Legal Defense legal group, a non-profit legal group that had filed an amicus card, which urged the Supreme Court to hear Rhine's case, issued a statement critical of the court's decision and said "sexual orientation discrimination has no "in the legal system."
"The allowance of Charles Rhine's death penalty is defying constitutional protection and violating the precedent of the Supreme Court," writes Daniel Harawa, assistant at LDF. "The Supreme Court has a unique competence to eradicate discrimination from the jury's system, and this disappointing decision undermines public confidence in justice and the rule of law."
The Supreme Court's trials rejected a similar appeal from Rhines last year.
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