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Supreme Court reinstates death sentence in Ohio "buried alive" murder case

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(CBS/AP/Reuters) WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court has reinstated the murder conviction and death sentence of an Ohio man accused with beating his roommate and burying him alive in 1993.

Last December, the U.S. Court of appeals for the Sixth Circuit agreed to throw out Archie Dixon's conviction after defense lawyers said his confession to the murder was invalid due to coercion by police. The defense said police had used strategies early on to question the suspect without advising him of his rights, therefore rendering his confession inadmissible.

However, on Monday, the Supreme Court reversed the appellate decision and upheld Dixon's conviction and sentence, writing in an unsigned opinion that "there is no evidence that any of Dixon's statements was the product of actual coercion."

Dixon is scheduled to be executed by the state of Ohio for the 1993 murder of Christopher Hammer.

That September, Hammer was beaten, robbed, and then driven to a remote wooded area and buried alive in a shallow grave so Dixon could steal his car. Dixon then used his victim's birth certificate and social security card to establish ownership of the car to sell it for $2,800.

The Ohio Supreme Court had upheld the sentence, a decision the U.S. Supreme Court said must be respected.

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