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Execution Date Set as Jury Deliberates Inmate's Sanity

May 09, 1998| From Associated Press

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — Triple murderer Horace Kelly has two execution dates but no clear indication that he will actually be consigned to California's death chamber.

On Friday, a judge in Riverside County, where Kelly shot an 11-year-old boy between the eyes, set a July 7 execution date. Previously, a judge in San Bernardino County, where Kelly's two other victims were killed, set a date of June 9.

State prosecutors asked for the two dates because of the extraordinary proceedings going on in the Kelly case--a sanity trial that originally was expected to take one week but is stretching into six with no immediate end in sight.

Kelly, 38, had been scheduled to die April 14. But a prison psychiatrist said he couldn't vouch for Kelly's sanity. It is illegal to execute the insane, so a Marin County Superior Court jury was impaneled to consider the inmate's mental state.

If nine of the 12 jurors agree that Kelly doesn't know he's under sentence of death or why, he will be sent to a mental hospital.

If they vote the other way, then the execution process resumes, with numerous defense appeals expected.

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