Spared death in 2008, man continues appeals in child rape
NEW ORLEANS - He was spared the death penalty by the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark 2008 decision. Now a man convicted in the 1998 rape of his 8-year-old stepdaughter wants a federal appeals court in New Orleans to uphold a ruling that could lead to his freedom - or a new trial.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday heard arguments on whether there was gender discrimination in the selection of grand jury leaders when Patrick Kennedy was indicted in Jefferson Parish, a New Orleans suburb. The panel did not say when it would rule.
Kennedy, who has said he didn't commit the crime, once faced execution. But, his case led to a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that death sentences for child rape were unconstitutional.