Judge Upholds Death Sentence For Former Iowa Meth Boss

Dustin Honken is led by US Marshals into the Federal Courthouse in Cedar Rapids prior to his sentencing on Tuesday October 11, 2005. A Sioux City federal jury chose the death penalty for the former methamphetamine dealer after finding him guilty of murder and conspiracy in the 1993 killings of two informants and the girlfriend of an informant and her two daughters. (Cliff Jette/KCRG-TV9)

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By Richard Pratt

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge is upholding the death sentences being served by notorious Iowa methamphetamine kingpin Dustin Honken, who was convicted in the 1993 slayings of five witnesses and children.

U.S. District Judge Linda Reade issued a 404-page ruling Friday that concludes Honken received a fair trial and effective legal counsel. She says she sees no reason "to disturb the jury's determination that death is the appropriate punishment in this case."

Reade says that Honken's death sentences "withstand scrutiny even in light of the heightened standards that are applied in capital cases."

Honken was running a sophisticated methamphetamine operation when he committed the execution-style slayings of two former dealers-turned-informants; one of their girlfriends; and her daughters, age 10 and 6. He was given two death sentences, one each for the girls' murders.
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