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The Killer at Thurston High -- Kip Kinkel -- In May 20, 1998, Kip, 15, shot his parents, William, 59, and Faith, 57, to death. The next day opened fire on classmates in Springfield, Oregon, killing 2 students Mikael Nickolauson, 17, and Ben Walker, 16 and injuring 25.

The story of Kip Kinkel. This examines what turned a teenager into a cold blooder killer.

Thurston High School Survivors Oregon

Shortly before his trial in September 1999, Kinkel abandoned the insanity defense to accept a plea deal for a 25-year sentence for the May 20, 1998, killings of his parents and the next day's shooting rampage that killed 2 classmates.

The deal left the Lane County judge to decide how much time Kinkel would serve for 26 attempted murder counts, including the wounded 25 other students and lunging at an officer with a knife after in custody. 40 months for each of the attempted murder counts, added 86.67 years to the sentence making a total of 111.67 years without possibility of parole.

Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the sentence as constitutional.

Jesse Barton, Kinkel's lawyer, filed a petition for review with the state's Supreme Court, aruging lower courts misrinterpreted Oregon's sentencing guidelines and putting emphasis on the "protection of society" principle, yet ignoring "reformation."

Barton argued the "true-life" sentence violated constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment.

"Record evidence shows that owing to a genetic predisposition, and therefore through no conscious fault of his own, defendant suffers from a mental illness resulting in his committing his crimes of conviction."

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill also filed a petition for review of Kinkel's sentence.

The Court of Appeals called Kinkel's crimes among "the most horrific in Oregon's history" and concluded that the "protection of society" consideration held greater weight than the state's 3 other sentencing guidelines.

Barton may take the case to the US Supreme Court or challenge the post-conviction process in Oregon's courts.

Kinkel, turned 20, August 2002, remains in the Secure Intensive Treatment Program at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, OR where he is takes college courses. When he turns 25, he will be transferred to an adult prison.


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Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006

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