(STATEHOUSE) - A Gary man who murdered his wife and her two teenage children in 2007 is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to throw out his death sentence.
Much of the discussion before the justices centered on the question of whether Kevin Isom's in-laws have forgiven him. A judge refused to let a juror ask that question of Cassandra Isom's cousin during the sentencing phase.
Justice Steve David is skeptical of Isom's attorney's argument that that invalidates the sentence. He says prosecutors could easily have responded by challenging how the cousin knew what other family members wanted, and questioning whether forgiveness and a desire for the death penalty are mutually exclusive.
Attorney Mark Bates also contends prosecutors went too far in describing the gory details of the shootings, in which Isom fired multiple rounds from three different guns. Deputy attorney general Kelly Miklos says prosecutors were just responding to defense lawyers' plea for mercy on the grounds Isom had always taken care of his family until the day of the murders.
The appeal is just the first round of the multiple reviews to which Death Row inmates are entitled. If the court upholds Isom's sentence, he can turn to the federal courts.
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