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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Attorney asks Okla. court to block death sentence

  • OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A defense attorney for an Oklahoma death row inmate has asked an appeals court to set aside the sentence he received for killing his wife and her four children.
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  • OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A defense attorney for an Oklahoma death row inmate has asked an appeals court to set aside the sentence he received for killing his wife and her four children.
     
    Defense attorney Marva Banks urged the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Tuesday to set aside the death sentence of Roderick Lynn Smith. Banks argued that Smith's death sentence should be thrown out because the Oklahoma County jury that returned it received inadequate legal instructions about his alleged mental retardation. Mentally retarded defendants are ineligible for the death penalty under U.S. Supreme Court guidelines.
     
    The victims' bodies were found on June 28, 1993. Investigators say Smith's wife, Jennifer, 9-year-old Glen Carter Jr. and 7-year-old Ladarian Carter were stabbed to death. Ten-year-old Shemeka Carter and 6-year-old Kanesha Carter were strangled.
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