Judge Denies Appeal From Wash. Death Row Inmate

SEATTLE — A federal judge has reconsidered arguments put forth by Washington death row inmate Jonathan Lee Gentry. But the judge is not changing his mind.

Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik in Seattle says he finds unpersuasive Gentry’s arguments that his attorney did a bad job and that he received an unfair trial. Lasnik denied Gentry’s claims last fall, but invited his attorneys to seek reconsideration on certain issues.

Gentry is the state’s longest-serving death row inmate, having been there since 1991, when he was convicted of raping and killing 12-year-old Cassie Holden of Pocatello, Idaho, in Bremerton.

Lasnik’s ruling doesn’t mean Gentry’s execution is imminent. He has other appeals pending, and they are expected to take at least a year.

He has also joined other death row inmates in challenging the state’s procedure for administering lethal injection. A hearing on that topic has been set for May in Thurston County Superior Court.