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High court denies death row appeal

BOISE – The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to consider the case of Idaho death-row inmate Paul Ezra Rhoades, effectively ending the appeals of his death sentence.

Rhoades was convicted of three murders in Idaho Falls and Blackfoot in 1988 and sentenced to death for two of them. In his petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, Rhoades said a lower court judge was wrong to refuse to have an evidentiary hearing on claims that his attorneys were ineffective when it came time to present evidence of mental illness during his sentencing.

The ruling means Rhoades could become the first person executed in Idaho since 1994. The last execution before that was in 1957.

Rhoades’ attorney, assistant federal public defender Oliver Loewy, declined to comment specifically on the court’s ruling. But he noted Rhoades still has legal avenues to pursue to stop or stave off an execution.


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