An Oklahoma appeals court is taking up the case of a death row inmate convicted of five counts of first-degree murder for the death of his wife and her four children.
Oral arguments are scheduled Tuesday before the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals in the case of 47-year-old Roderick Lynn Smith. Defense attorneys maintain that Smith's death sentence should be thrown out because the Oklahoma County jury that returned it did not consider evidence of his alleged mental retardation. Mentally retarded defendants are ineligible for the death penalty under U.S. Supreme Court guidelines.
The victims' bodies were found on June 28, 1993. Investigators say Smith's wife, Jennifer, 9-year-old Glen Carter Jr. and 7-year-old Ladarian Carter were stabbed to death. Officials say 10-year-old Shemeka Carter and 6-year-old Kanesha Carter were strangled.