Kansas

Kansas court upholds state's 1st death sentence in 30 years

  • FILE - In this July 23, 1997 file photo, accused murderer Gary Kleypas stands as the jury leaves the courtroom to deliberate his case in Kansas City, Kan. The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, upheld the death sentence of Kleypas, the first prisoner condemned in the state in more than three decades. He was sentenced to death in the 1996 rape and stabbing death of Pittsburg State University student Carrie Williams. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga, File)

    FILE - In this July 23, 1997 file photo, accused murderer Gary Kleypas stands as the jury leaves the courtroom to deliberate his case in Kansas City, Kan. The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, upheld the death sentence of Kleypas, the first prisoner condemned in the state in more than three decades. He was sentenced to death in the 1996 rape and stabbing death of Pittsburg State University student Carrie Williams. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • This 2016 photo provided by the Kansas Department of Corrections shows Gary Kleypas. The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, upheld the death sentence of Kleypas, the first prisoner condemned in the state in more than three decades. He was sentenced to death in the 1996 rape and stabbing death of Pittsburg State University student Carrie Williams. (Kansas Department of Corrections via AP)

    This 2016 photo provided by the Kansas Department of Corrections shows Gary Kleypas. The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, upheld the death sentence of Kleypas, the first prisoner condemned in the state in more than three decades. He was sentenced to death in the 1996 rape and stabbing death of Pittsburg State University student Carrie Williams. (Kansas Department of Corrections via AP)  (The Associated Press)

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.