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Feds want Mass. man’s death penalty reinstated

Prosecutors have asked a federal appeals court to reinstate the death penalty sentence handed down to a man who killed three people in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Gary Sampson, a drifter who grew up in Abington, Mass., was convicted in 2003 of killing 19-year-old Jonathan Rizzo of Kingston, Mass., 69-year-old Philip McCloskey of Taunton, Mass., and 58-year-old Robert Whitney of Concord over a six-day stretch in 2001.

He was sentenced to death, but in 2011 a judge ordered a new sentencing trial because one juror had intentionally answered questions dishonestly on a juror questionnaire in an attempt to hide her family’s criminal past.

Sampson’s lawyer said the juror’s lies were relevant.

Prosecutors argued Wednesday there was no reason to set the sentence aside, since issues on the questionnaire were not connected to Sampson’s crimes.

The Associated Press

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