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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Harpham loses latest appeal

Kevin W. Harpham  (Spokane County Sheriff's Office)
Kevin W. Harpham (Spokane County Sheriff's Office)

Kevin William Harpham has failed once again to overturn his 32-year prison sentence for planting a bomb on the route of the Martin Luther King Day march in 2011. 

An order handed down Monday by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush throws out that latest appeal from Harpham. The 41-year-old is serving his sentence at a federal penitentiary in Lompoc, California, and is scheduled for release in 2039.

Harpham pleaded guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and hate crimes in September 2011, eight months after local authorities discovered the explosive placed along the march route before the event began. Authorities eventually arrested Harpham in rural Stevens County, and he faced a potential life sentence in prison before taking a plea deal a few days before his trial was scheduled to begin.

The most recent appeal was lodged by Harpham in May, more than a year after the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Harpham's argument that he had been coerced into taking the plea deal by his attorneys. Harpham argued in this appeal that his lawyers had provided ineffective counsel, but Quackenbush said that argument was without merit.

"Harpham was facing a possible life sentence. That he was ultimately sentenced to 32 years is evidence that his attorneys provided proper representation," Quackenbush wrote.

The U.S. Supreme Court had declined to hear Harpham's first appeal. 

Kip Hill
Kip Hill joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the City Desk, covering the marijuana industry, local politics and breaking news. He previously hosted the newspaper's podcast.

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