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State Supreme Court Denies Isom’s DNA Appeal

December 17th, 2010 by

The Arkansas Supreme Court on December 16 issued two opinions denying Kenneth Isom’s post-conviction appeals. Isom was convicted in 2001 in the Drew County Circuit Court of the capital murder of Bill Burton and of the rape and attempted murder of an elderly relative of Burton who was staying with him while he recuperated from surgery. He was also convicted of aggravated robbery and residential burglary. Isom was sentenced to death on the murder and to life plus 100 years on the other charges.

Following the Supreme Court’s 2004 decision denying Isom’s initial appeal, he filed post-conviction petitions in the circuit court claiming that his trial attorney was ineffective and requesting additional DNA testing of two other men he argued were suspects in the crimes of which he was convicted. Circuit Judge Sam Pope denied both petitions, although Isom was allowed re-testing of his own DNA against the hair sample recovered from the rape victim. The re-testing did not exclude Isom as being a contributor of the sample. (At Isom’s trial, the DNA testing evidence reflected that the odds of finding another person with DNA consistent with Isom’s was one in 57 million.) 

According to Thomas D. Deen, Prosecuting Attorney for the Tenth Judicial District, “The Supreme Court’s rulings end the current proceedings in state court in Isom’s case, but he can and probably will petition the federal courts to review certain aspects of his conviction and sentence. The delay in concluding this case is typical of capital cases, but it is regrettable. It is past time for the sentence the jury justly imposed on Isom to be carried out.”

2 Responses to “State Supreme Court Denies Isom’s DNA Appeal”

  1. Gibbs says:

    I will respectfully take this time once again to encourage all qualified people reading this to procure a well made firearm, establish a safe, secure place to store it and the training in use and operation. Then use it on a regular basis in a safe area to stay proficient with it.

    Yes, hindsight is always 20/20 but why not prepare yourself to go down fighting? Be vigilant. If the word gets out that criminals are becoming victims, then behaviors will change. Look at what happened to car jacking rates in Dallas, TX and Houston, TX when concealed carry became law. Look at what happened to liquor store robberies statistics years ago in Pulaski county when then Sheriff Tommy Robinson hid shotgun wielding deputies in these businesses with shoot to kill orders. Keep the proverbial stove hot.

  2. What next?! says:

    Sad to say it, but I agree with Gibbs 200%!!

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