SC judge rejects Smith's appeal in sons' killings

Associated Press Writer

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A judge plans to throw out the appeal of a South Carolina woman sentenced to life in prison for drowning her two young children unless she comes up with a better reason why she
waited 13 years to appeal.

Circuit Judge Lee Alford ruled 38-year-old Susan Smith signed a sworn statement waiving her first shot at an appeal in 1996, a year after she was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Smith filed a handwritten appeal in earlier this year, saying her trial attorneys failed to properly defend her because they did not bring up possible abuse from her husband. Smith also says she wasn't allowed to appeal.

Authorities say Smith left her 3-year-old and 14-month-old sons strapped in their car seats as she rolled her car into a Union County lake in 1994.
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