In 1998, Kip Kinkel killed his parents, then went on a shooting rampage at his high school in Springfield, killing 2 and wounding 25. Kinkel was 15 when he committed the crime, and was sentenced to 111 years, 8 months in prison. In 2007, his lawyers argued he wasn’t mentally fit to plead guilty at the time of his sentencing, but the judge denied him a new trial.
Last June, a Supreme Court ruled that two boys convicted of murder in Alabama, who were both 14 at the time of their crimes, were wrongfully sentenced to life in prison, without regard to their age. Based on this ruling, Kinkel’s lawyer is requesting a new sentencing hearing.
- Laura Appleman: Associate Professor of Criminal Law at Willamette University College of Law