An appeals court has thrown out the death sentence of an Arizona man convicted in the 1981 murder of another man who was targeted for being gay, ordering that he get a new sentencing trial or be given life in prison.
Steven Craig James, 53, has been on death row for nearly 20 years in the Nov. 17, 1981, beating death of Juan Maya.
Although a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called Maya's killing an appalling hate crime in which he was robbed taunted, beaten, shot and thrown into a mine shaft, they threw out James' death sentence. Read more about Arizona Court of Appeals Tosses Man's Death Sentence in Hate Crime Murder