Charles Rhines has already spent nearly half his life on death row. On April 15 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal. Now, barring clemency from the governor, Rhines will be executed — because he is gay.
No one disputes the facts of Rhines’ crime, including Rhines. In 1993, while burglarizing the doughnut shop from which he’d been recently fired, a worker came in. Rhines stabbed the man to death.
He was convicted of first-degree murder.
The circumstances of Rhines’ sentencing has been what’s raised questions for years, causing the editorial boards of major newspapers to call for clemency and The Marshall Project to take up his case.