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On Kentucky’s death row for 29 years, inmate granted new trial

David Eugene Matthews

David Eugene Matthews

Via The StandDown Texas Project’s “New Developments in a Long Running Kentucky Death Case“:

A Kentucky inmate on death row for 29 years has been granted a new trial by a federal appeals court that found problems with the trial judge’s legal interpretations and an argument made by prosecutors about a claim of extreme emotional distress at the time of two slayings.

A split U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday ordered 62-year-old David Eugene Matthews retried within 180 days in the death of his estranged wife Mary “Marlene” Matthews, and mother-in-law, Magdalene Cruse in Louisville, on June 29, 1981.

Judge Eric Clay wrote that the trial judge misinterpreted Kentucky’s law on an extreme emotional distress defense and allowed prosecutors to claim during closing arguments that Matthews and his attorneys concocted the issue in an attempt to avoid conviction.

Just another example of how Kentucky’s broken death penalty system fails to provide closure to murder victims’ families.

Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Department of Corrections

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