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

Dec 11, 2013

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.