Indiana woman, Paula Cooper, sent to death row for killing at 15, is freed

    1:24 PM, Jun 17, 2013   |    comments
    Paula Cooper. (Photo: CBS Chicago)
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    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indiana woman who was sentenced to death at age 16 in the stabbing death of a 78-year-old Bible school teacher has been released from prison.

    A Department of Correction spokesman says Paula Cooper was released today from a prison in western Indiana.

    Doug Garrison says Cooper left the prison in a state vehicle with $75 and wearing donated clothes. Garrison declined to say where the now-43-year-old woman was taken.

    Cooper was sentenced to death after stabbing Ruth Pelke 33 times during a 1985 robbery in Gary.

    The state Supreme Court intervened to set her death sentence aside in 1988, ordering her to serve a 60-year prison term. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled it unconstitutional to execute anyone under who was under age 18 when the offense was committed.

    (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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