Convicted School Shooter Kip Kinkel Petitions U.S. Supreme Court

Sep 10, 2018

The man serving 112 years for the 1998 Thurston High School shooting has petitioned the nation’s highest court to review his sentence. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Credit Geoff Livingston (U.S. Supreme Court) /

Twenty years ago, Kip Kinkel opened fire on his classmates, after murdering his parents the night before in their Springfield home. Two students were killed, and two dozen more were wounded. Kinkel was sentenced to essentially a lifetime behind bars, which his lawyers argue violates his constitutional right against cruel and inhuman punishment.

Kinkel’s new defense team, Thaddeus Betz of Bend and Marsha Levick of Philadelphia, say Kinkel deserves a chance to prove he’s reformed and matured in the time he’s spent locked up.  They contest the Oregon Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Kinkel’s sentence in March.

Two recent cases may benefit Kinkel’s petition. A 2012 U.S. Supreme Court case, Miller v. Alabama, struck down mandatory life sentences for two teenagers. And Montgomery v. Louisiana declared states are constitutionally required to review similar cases retroactively.

Brian Bull, KLCC News.