Death Penalty Upheld Despite Improper Remarks By Prosecutor

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A divided Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a man who killed two teenage girls in Cincinnati despite what the court called improper remarks by a prosecutor arguing for death.

A jury convicted Anthony Kirkland in 2010 of aggravated murder, attempted rape and other charges in the 2006 death of Casonya Crawford, 14, and the 2009 death of Esme Kenney, 13, both Cincinnati teenagers.

Before his trial began Kirkland also pleaded guilty to the slayings of two women.

The court's 4-3 decision Tuesday rejected arguments by attorneys for Kirkland that the prosecutor's remarks – which included implying that without a death sentence the girls' deaths would go unpunished – inflamed the jury to the point he should have been resentenced.