William Andrews, who after nearly 16 years is the nation's longest-standing death row inmate, asked a federal appellate court Tuesday to review a lower court's rejection of his latest appeal.
In a 75-page brief filed in Denver's 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Andrews' attorneys asked the court to consider whether U.S. District Judge David Sam acted properly in adopting a magistrate's recommendation to reject the appeal.Andrews, condemned for the 1974 torture slayings of three people in Ogden's Hi-Fi Shop, also asked the appellate court to decide whether his rights had been violated by errors at trial, attorney Gordon Greiner said in a telephone interview from Denver.
In August, Sam adopted Magistrate Ronald Boyce's recommendation that the appeal amounted to abuse of the federal appeals process because the issues could or should have been raised in prior appeals.
Greiner said the 10th Circuit was asked to examine whether Sam had adequately reviewed Boyce's recommendation and whether he had erred in failing to grant an evidentiary hearing on the issues in the appeal.
The appeal also renewed Andrews' claim that his rights were violated by ineffective trial counsel who failed to request the option of a second-degree murder conviction, leaving the jury with no option but acquittal or a capital homicide conviction.
Andrews, 36, an airman at Hill Air Force Base from Jonesboro, La., was convicted of the murders of two women and one man. Five people were bound, forced to drink a liquid drain cleaner and shot. Two men survived.