Court to Hear Appeal of Mississippi Death Row Inmate
Jun. 19, 1989
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Supreme Court today agreed to hear the appeal of Mississippi death row inmate Chandler Clemons, convicted of killing a delivery man who was robbed of $5 in cash and a few pizzas.
The justices said they will decide whether Clemons was sentenced fairly after an appeals court reweighed the aggravating and mitigating circumstances present in his case.
Clemons' appeal said Mississippi law gives exclusive sentencing authority in capital cases to juries, and that the appeals court's action therefore violated his rights.
His appeal did not challenge the underlying murder conviction.
Prosecutors said Clemons plotted with others to rob a pizza delivery man, and ordered a pizza by telephone to carry out the scheme.
Clemons used a shotgun to kill Arthur Shorter, prosecutors said, because he thought Shorter might be able to identify him.
The case is Clemons vs. Mississippi, 88-6873.