U.S. Supreme Court declines review of convicted killer Jordan Clemons’ case | TribLIVE.com

U.S. Supreme Court declines review of convicted killer Jordan Clemons’ case

Madasyn Lee

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Jordan Clemons to review whether his constitutional rights were violated when he was convicted and sentenced to death for killing his ex-girlfriend in 2012.

Clemons was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Karissa Kunco in January 2012.

Jurors in 2015 found Clemons, formerly of Mt. Washington, guilty of killing Karissa Kunco, 21. Her body was found dumped in a wooded area in Washington County after her throat had been slashed repeatedly.

In his petition for review, Clemons, now 30, raised two issues. He claimed he had not wittingly waived his Miranda rights before making inculpatory statements to police, and that he wasn’t granted a change of venue for the trial despite what he claimed was substantial, sensational and inflammatory pre-trial publicity.

According to Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone, whenever someone is convicted of murder and sentenced to death in Pennsylvania, their case is automatically reviewed by the state Supreme Court. He said the state Supreme Court didn’t find any legal issues with Clemons’ case, but his attorney appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Vittone said there are other ways that Clemons can appeal his death sentence. Pennsylvania has a Post-Conviction Relief Act, where prisoners can file claims on things such as how effective their attorneys were during trial or an appeal. There are also federal habeas corpus petitions, where federal courts can determine whether a state’s incarceration of a prisoner is valid, he said.

“By no means is this over,: Vittone said. “This is just the first step in the appeals process.”

Clemons is being held in the state prison in Greene County.

Madasyn Lee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at [email protected], 724-226-4702 or via Twitter.

Categories: Local | Regional | Top Stories
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.