WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) --
The U.S. Supreme Court Monday denied California's effort to reinstate two murder convictions against Bobby Joe Maxwell, the so-called Skid Row Stabber.
Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Maxwell's 1984 convictions, saying a jailhouse informant who served as the prosecution's chief witness was a habitual liar, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Maxwell was convicted of two of 10 slayings that occurred in 1978 and 1979, and sentenced to life in prison without parole. The Supreme Court's decision not to take up the case means the state will need to release him or bring a new trial, the newspaper said.
Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito dissented from the decision to let the appeals court ruling stand, saying there was "ample other evidence of Maxwell's guilt."
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.