Court nixes N.C. death sentence

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Court nixes N.C. death sentence

Post  Jennie on Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:00 pm

A federal appeals court in Richmond has ordered a new sentencing for a North Carolina death row inmate.

Kinston dentist William Robert Gray Junior was sentenced to die for the 1992 murder of his estranged wife.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that Gray's lawyer should have developed evidence that Gray suffered a severe mental illness. The court said failure to do so probably prejudiced the outcome of the sentencing phase of Gray's trial.

The court said the defense attorney ignored several "red flags" about Gray's mental condition and ever explored whether the issue was worth investigating as a possible mitigating factor at sentencing.

On the Net: Gray v. Branker: http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinions_today.htm

(source: Associated Press)
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