U.S. Supreme Court Considers Case of Kentucky Death Row Inmate

Dec 11, 2013

Robert Keith Woodall
Robert Keith Woodall
Credit Kentucky Department of Corrections

The Supreme Court is considering whether to give a new sentencing hearing to a man who confessed to kidnapping, raping and killing a 16-year-old girl in Kentucky.  The justices heard arguments Wednesday over Robert Keith Woodall `s death sentence.

Woodall pleaded guilty to kidnapping Sarah Hansen on Jan. 25, 1997, from a convenience store in western Kentucky.  Woodall acknowledged that he raped the girl and slit her throat twice before taking her body to Luzerne Lake and throwing it in the water.

A federal appeals court threw out his death sentence because a judge refused to tell the jury not to draw any conclusions about his choice not to take the stand at his 1998 capital sentencing hearing.

Justices are expected to make a decision sometime next year.