Ore. court tosses man's death penalty for 4th time

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- For the fourth time, the Oregon Supreme Court has overturned a death sentence for one of the longest-serving inmates on the state's death row.

The court ruled Thursday that a judge should not have forced the convicted murderer to represent himself before jurors determining his punishment.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/ldLgbv ) that juries initially sentenced Robert Paul Langley Jr. to death for two separate murders, both prosecuted in 1989. Since then, one death sentence was converted to life with a minimum of 30 years in prison.

In Langley's most recent resentencing for the murder of Anne Louise Gray, his lawyers said they had too many conflicts with him and asked to be removed. A judge allowed one to be removed but told Langley he had to cooperate with the remaining lawyer or represent himself.

The high court says Langley said he didn't like either option. He appeared in court in his prison jumpsuit and failed to mount a defense. The jury took less than 20 minutes to deliver a death sentence.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com