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Hearing continues in Clemons' death penalty case

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The Chain of Rocks Bridge in north St. Louis (photo by Creative Commons user ChrisYunker)

Missouri death row inmate Reginald Clemons says detective interrogators beat him so badly he admitted to raping two sisters who were pushed to their deaths from the old Chain of Rocks Bridge.

Clemons testified today at a special hearing that he confessed because he feared for his life. He is on death row for the 1991 rape and murder of 20-year-old Julie Kerry and 19-year-old Robin Kerry.

After the hearing, the Missouri Supreme Court will decide whether to commute Clemons' death sentence and possibly require a new trial.

Assistant Attorney General Sue Boresi questioned Clemons about the crime after playing the chilling audiotape confession. Clemons declined to answer most questions, but denied leading the girls to the bridge support where they were pushed and blocking a manhole cover to prevent their escape.

Clemons is one of four men convicted in the deaths of the sisters. His lawyers argue that police reports were doctored and evidence omitted in the original investigation.

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