Kansas' highest court has upheld the death sentence of the first prisoner condemned in the state in more than three decades.

The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday let stand 61-year-old Gary Kleypas' (KLAY'-puhs) death sentence in the 1996 rape and stabbing death of 20-year-old Pittsburg State University student Carrie Williams. The high court did throw out Kleypas' conviction of attempted rape.

After that court overturned Kleypas' death sentence in 2001, another jury restored it in 2008.

At the time of Williams' death, Kleypas was on parole for a 1977 slaying in Missouri.

Justice Lee Johnson dissented Friday, reiterating his view that the death penalty is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual.

Kleypas was the first person condemned in Kansas after it reinstated the death penalty in 1994.