- Associated Press - Saturday, September 6, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - An inmate who has been in prison since 1969 for murder and rape has lost a bid for freedom after the Kentucky Court of Appeals concluded that age and ill health did not warrant his release.

Judge Irv Maze wrote for the court that 66-year-old Leroy Fryrear failed to raise any valid legal claim to overturn his conviction and sentence stemming from the 1969 rape and murder of Faith Ann Callahan of Louisville.

Fryrear argued that a sentence of life in prison was no longer equitable because of his poor health and age. Fryrear also noted that Kentucky did away with life in prison without parole as a sentence for rape in 1975.

Maze said lawmakers didn’t make the law retroactive, so it didn’t apply to Fryrear. Fryrear’s claims about his health are may for the basis for a clemency request, but not a legal argument, Maze said.

“Without intending to seem callous, Fryrear’s age and infirmity are not results of his life sentence, nor are they related to the trial proceedings that precipitated it,” Maze wrote. “They are the results of the mere passage of time; time spent in prison following a crime for which he was tried, convicted and sentenced according to the laws as they existed at the time.”

Fryrear was originally sentenced to death for the attack, but the Court of Appeals overturned the verdict I 1971 and ordered a new trial. At the second trial, Fryrear was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Fryrear has challenged his sentence multiple times over the years, losing on various grounds each time.

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