Lawyers for New England killer say he'll die in prison

Dec. 24, 2013 at 12:14 PM

BOSTON, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Lawyers asked a federal court to allow an ailing killer to die of natural causes at a New England prison rather than executing him.

Federal prosecutors last week said they would seek to have the death sentence against Gary Lee Sampson reinstated, but Sampson's lawyer filed papers in court Monday that Sampson was in failing health and did not have long to live.

The documents said Sampson's legal team met with prosecutors and presented "significant medical evidence that Mr. Sampson will likely die a natural death in prison regardless of whether his sentence is one of life or death."

The Boston Herald said the court documents did not say what was wrong with Sampson or when the 57-year-old convicted spree killer might die.

Sampson was sentenced to death in 2003 after pleading guilty to the slayings of four people in Massachusetts and New Hampshire in July 2001. A federal judge tossed out the death sentence in 2011 after ruling the jury that had recommended execution did not adequately reflect Sampson's peers.

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