High court throws out conviction of Washington killer on death row BY LEVI PULKKINEN, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF Updated 09:14 a.m., Thursday, May 10, 2012
Stenson, previously convicted in the 1993 slayings of his wife and business partner, is due a new trial because prosecutors failed to share evidence with his attorneys prior to trial, the eight-justice majority ruled.
Stenson will not be released following Thursday's decision, which was authored by Justice Gerry Alexander. He'll instead face a second trial in Clallam County.
"We are left with the fact that constitutionally significant mistakes were made in Stenson's trial, resulting in imposition of the ultimate punishment without the full benefit of due process protections," Alexander wrote in the majority opinion. "The question here is not whether Stenson has proved his innocence."
Justice James M. Johnson dissented.
Speaking Thursday morning, Clallam County Prosectuor Deborah Kelly described the high court's decision as "an utter tragedy for the victims' families."
"They'll be forced to relive this," Kelly said. "I'm deeply disappointed by our Supreme Court."
Kelly said Stenson will again face murder charges in the slayings. The prosecutor said she could not say whether she will seek a death sentence against Stenson -- who was condemned to die in 1994 -- until she has spoken with the families involved and had time to consider how to proceed.
Clallam judge orders DNA test on bullet in case involving death row inmate By Paul Gottlieb Peninsula Daily News September 16, 2010 PORT ANGELES -- State Patrol Crime Lab DNA tests on a bullet could... more
WA: High court throws out conviction of Stenson Petra.,Thu May 10 15:45