Supreme Court Decisions Released

Court Rejects Appeal From Alabama Death Row Inmate

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a death row inmate in Alabama who said evidence withheld by prosecutors entitled him to a new court hearing.

The justices did not comment Monday in turning away the appeal from Bill Kuenzel, convicted of killing a convenience store clerk in 1987.

Kuenzel's case had gotten a boost from former Attorney General Edwin Meese, who said Kuenzel is "very likely actually innocent."

Kuenzel's lawyers said that the evidence would have raised doubts about the truthfulness of plea deal testimony from a roommate who said Kuenzel committed the killing.

State courts had earlier refused Kuenzel's pleas for a new hearing

The case is Kuenzel v. Alabama, 16-213.

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Supreme Court Gives New Chance to 5 Arizona Inmates

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court is ordering Arizona judges to reconsider life sentences with no chance of parole for five inmates who were convicted of murder for crimes they committed before they turned 18.

The court on Monday said the state judges did not pay sufficient attention to high court rulings that held that life sentences for young killers should be imposed only rarely.

The state courts ruled in all five Arizona cases before the Supreme Court's most recent ruling on juvenile sentences in January.

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented from Monday's order.

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Supreme Court Won't Hear FBI Fitness Test Appeal

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court won't hear a dispute over whether a physical fitness test for FBI special agents is biased against men.

The justices on Monday turned down an appeal from an Illinois man who failed the test after completing 29 out of 30 untimed pushups.

Jay Bauer said it's unfair that female trainees have to do only 14 pushups as part of the fitness test that includes situps, a 300-meter sprint and 1.5-mile run.

A federal judge ruled that the test discriminates on the basis of sex. But a federal appeals court sided with the FBI, saying it used "gender-normed" standards that require the same level of fitness for all trainees.

(KA)