Before there was Columbine there was Kip Kinkel. In 1998, the then 15-year-old shot and killed both his parents before killing two students at Thurston High School in Oregon. He was tried as an adult and was sentenced to over 100 years in prison. Over the years, Kinkel has filed multiple appeals and motions to try to get his sentence reduced. So far, every one of his attempts have failed and his latest one is no different.
Last week, a federal judge denied Kinkel’s request that could have seen him possibly be released in 2023. The now 38-year-old Kinkel sought clarification on two questions concerning the Oregon parole board.
First, does the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision have authority to release him — a juvenile offender — to post-prison supervision?
Second, does state law allow the parole board to consider whether he’s capable of rehabilitation after serving 25 years in custody, which would be May 2023?
His lawyers argue that if the state allows for a “release mechanism” before the end of his full sentence, it would resolve whether the long sentence for a juvenile offender violates the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment.
The federal judge denied the motion citing that the Oregon Supreme Court already ruled that Kinkel’s sentence did not violate the Eighth Amendment. She also stated that Kinkel’s depraved character “will not diminish as petitioner matures.”
I couldn’t have put it better. As I’ve said before, in my opinion, Kinkel is the only school shooter who received even close to a sentence that he truly deserved.