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Mass. judge to hold hearing in Sampson death penalty case

Federal prosecutors and defense lawyers are due in court next week in the case of a convicted killer from Massachusetts who faces a second trial on whether he should receive the death penalty.

Gary Lee Sampson, a drifter who grew up in Abington, Mass., pleaded guilty to federal charges for killing two men in Massachusetts and was sentenced to death. He also pleaded guilty to separate state charges for killing a man in New Hampshire during the same weeklong crime spree in 2001.

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf threw out Sampson’s sentence in 2011 in a ruling that later was upheld by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Prosecutors said last month that they will seek the death penalty a second time during a resentencing trial.

A status hearing is scheduled in court Tuesday.

Sampson pleaded guilty to carjacking and killing Jonathan Rizzo, 19, of Kingston, Mass., and Philip McCloskey, 69, of Taunton, Mass. He told the police he forced both men to drive to secluded areas, assured them he only wanted their cars, then stabbed them repeatedly and slit their throats. Sampson fled to New Hampshire, where he broke into a house in Meredith and strangled Robert Whitney, a former city councilor from Concord.

In a court filing last month, federal prosecutors said they plan to ask Wolf to set a date for a new sentencing trial during Tuesday’s status conference.

They also asked Wolf to revisit a decision he made in 2010 when the judge found that it was not necessary for him to recuse himself from the case despite a personal relationship he has with one of the prosecutors. Wolf worked at the same law office as the prosecutor’s father-in-law from 1977 to 1981, attended the prosecutor’s wedding and has occasionally given him and his wife career advice.

Sampson became the first person sentenced to death in Massachusetts under the federal death penalty law. Massachusetts does not have a state death penalty.

When was this "death penalty law" of the Feds passed? Who is his defender? Although we all dis-like the results here of what he did, the end does not justify the means. Since Congress has too many members, then its Codes are unlawful, and especially in MAss. and N.H. since we do not elect our state "Judicial officers" and so the representation in Congress SHALL be reduced per the Section 2 penalty in the 14th Amendment. "Read it and weep" as they say. To weep that the law cannot be executed against him because of screw ups by these M.O.C..'s not enacting by Section 5 of HOW the unlawful members are to be evicted, because like in the game of football, if of too many players on the field, of to get the ten-yard penalty. But of WHEN were the players on the field or in the Congress of the unlawful number amount? Regarding the latter of it was at the start of this trial, of thus tainted from up-front! Of to have to either throw it out or have a re-trial, of for that woman on the phone of who took his call for help and then putting him on hold and then she hung up, to have to account for what might not have happened if she had been doing her job too! This is what happens when public non-servants are in the negative of that negative consequences happen because they are too lazy or corrupt to DO what is right! Two wrongs (of the phone call and unlawful statutes at large) do NOT make a right!

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