In the latest appeal by Leroy Fears, a Pennsylvania death-row inmate convicted of raping and murdering a 12-year-old boy in1995, and who later claimed that a trove of inflammatory emails exchanged by two former justices prejudiced him during his multiple appeals, the current justices were evenly split on whether to overturn his conviction and sentence.

In a per curiam decision May 18, the shorthanded Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled 2-2 in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Fears. The split means an Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas ruling rejecting Fears’ Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) claims stands.