Connecticut high court to hear death penalty case

handcuffs & gavel

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The state Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on whether a man convicted of ordering the 1999 killings of a woman and her 8-year-old son in Bridgeport should have received the death penalty.

The court will take up the appeal of Russell Peeler Jr. on Monday.

Peeler was condemned to die for ordering his brother to kill Karen Clarke and her son, Leroy “B.J.” Brown. The boy was a key witness against Peeler in another murder case.

Peeler’s brother, Adrian, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being acquitted of murder but convicted of conspiring to kill Clarke and her son.

Russell Peeler raised 33 appeal issues, including the rejection of three black people for the jury and the 2012 repeal of Connecticut’s death penalty for future murders only.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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