One of several serial killers to come out of the Pacific Northwest, Robert Lee Yates pleaded guilty in 2000 of a whopping 13 counts of first degree murder and a count of attempted murder. For his guilty plea, he was sentenced to 408 years in prison instead of the death penalty. Two years later, he received the death penalty after being convicted of another two murders in a separate trial in Pierce County, Wa. Yates had confessed to another three murders in Washington state. All of his victims were prostitutes.
With a long trail of killings behind him, a host of guilty pleas and several confessions, it seems unlikely that Yates will be getting any reprieve. Still, Yates continues to petition to get his death sentence commuted. In a personal restraint petition, Yates argued that jury bias violated his right to a public trial in Pierce County, and that his attorneys failed to “humanize” him before the jury. The serial killer filed the petition in 2007, after the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence on appeal.
The state Supreme Court ruled last week that Yates’ claims don’t merit a hearing or review. ”Yates has failed to establish any meritorious claims,” the Supreme Court ruled. “We therefore dismiss Yates’s personal restraint petition.”