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Supreme Court to hear Georgia death row inmate's appeal

Georgia Department of Corrections booking photo of Marion Wilson
Georgia Department of Corrections booking photo of Marion Wilson

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a Georgia death row inmate who says lower courts failed to look at lengthy, detailed rulings in his case when turning away a challenge to his sentence.

The justices agreed Monday to take up the appeal from Marion Wilson, who was convicted for his role in killing a state prison guard in Baldwin County in 1996. He was already serving time for highjacking and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

A state court judge had issued a comprehensive opinion after rejecting Wilson's challenge to his sentence. The Georgia Supreme Court issued only a short, summary opinion upholding the sentence.

Wilson then sought to overturn his sentence in federal court. The federal appeals court in Atlanta ruled 6-5 that it only had to look at the latest summary denial and did not have to review opinions from lower courts.