State v. StyersAnnotate this Case
A jury found James Styers guilty of the 1989 murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, kidnapping, and child abuse of a four-year-old. After finding three aggravating factors and no mitigating circumstances, the trial judge sentenced Styers to death. The Supreme Court affirmed the sentence. Styers then filed a habeas corpus petition, which the district court denied. The court of appeals reversed and granted relief, finding that in independently reviewing Styers' death sentence, the Supreme Court erroneously refused to consider as a mitigating circumstance the PTSD Styers suffered from as a result of military service in Vietnam. The Supreme Court granted the state's request to conduct a new independent review. On review, the Court affirmed Styers' sentence, holding that Styers' PTSD, in combination with all other mitigating evidence previously considered by the Court, was not sufficient to warrant leniency in light of the aggravating factors proven in this case.