New death-penalty hearing for Mass. killer
BOSTON (AP) -- A federal appeals court has confirmed the decision to throw out the death penalty sentence against a man who pleaded guilty to killing three people in Massachusetts and New Hampshire during a weeklong crime spree and ordered a new trial to determine if he will be put to death.
The court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that Gary Lee Sampson was denied his constitutional right to have his sentence decided by an impartial jury after a juror repeatedly lied when answering questions during the jury selection process.
Sampson pleaded guilty to carjacking and killing two Massachusetts men in 2001 after each picked him up hitchhiking. Authorities said he later broke into a house in Meredith, N.H., and strangled a third man.
Sampson's public defenders declined to comment. Federal prosecutors did not immediately comment.