HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A public defender has urged the Connecticut Supreme Court to overturn the death penalty of a man who ordered the 1999 killings of a woman and her 8-year-old son in Bridgeport.
Assistant Public Defender Mark Rademacher (RAD'-eh-may-kuhr) told the high court Thursday that Russell Peeler Jr. deserves a new penalty phase because of problems that occurred during the trial including a prosecutor's misconduct during closing arguments and a judge's refusal to allow some defense witnesses.
Prosecutor Marjorie Allen Dauster denied Rademacher's allegations.
The Supreme Court is expected to take several months to issue a ruling.
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.
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