LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The U.S. Supreme Court has reinstated the death sentence of a Kentucky inmate who was on track to be freed after awaiting execution for three decades.
The high court on Monday overturned a U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that had granted a new trial to 63-year-old David Eugene Matthews. That trial would have been on reduced charges and likely would have led to Matthews' release even if he was convicted, because of the length of time he's already served.
Matthews was sentenced to death in 1982 for the slaying of his estranged wife and mother-in-law in Louisville.
The 6th Circuit decision in June 2011 gave prosecutors 180 days to retry Matthews on burglary charges, but not murder.