18 May 2020 :
Jerry Buck Inman to get new sentence. A judge has ordered a new sentencing hearing for a man on South Carolina’s death row for strangling a young woman 14 years ago. Inman should have been sentenced by a jury instead of by a judge when the death sentence for killing and raping 20-year-old Tiffany Souers was handed down in 2009, a lower court judge has ruled. The order states that Inman will be re-sentenced in Pickens County on a date not yet scheduled. The order cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from 4 years ago (Hurst v. Florida, 12/01/2016) that a jury, and not a judge, must agree to the facts to sentence someone to death. The state Attorney General’s Office can appeal the decision to the South Carolina Supreme Court. Inman broke into Souers’ off-campus apartment in May 2006, tying her up and raping her before killing her, according to his own confession. He was a convicted sex offender from Tennessee. The state Supreme Court upheld Inman’s death sentence in a different appeal in 2011. The latest appeal came after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling significantly changed the law in Inman’s case. Unless the state Supreme Court overturns the new sentencing, a jury will decide if Inman faces the death penalty again or life in prison without parole. Inman asked for death at his trial, while his lawyer Jim Bannister asked for a life sentence.