Sentenced to Death for Massachusetts Murder and Carjacking, Gary Lee Sampson Wants a New Trial

The Massachusetts criminal defense team for Gary Lee Sampson is scheduled to appear in court on Monday to argue that their client should get a new trial. Sampson, who a federal judge sentenced to death in 2003 for the murder of three people, contends that his constitutional rights were violated because his trial lawyers at the time were ineffective.

Sampson’s new defense team is accusing his old one of failing to fully depict to the jury the entire extent of Sampson’s traumatic brain injuries and mental illness. They believe that the evidence might have caused the jury to recommend a less harsh sentence for Sampson. If executed, Sampson would be the first person in 63 years to be put to death for a Massachusetts crime.

Sampson fatally stabbed 69-year-old Philip McCloskey 24 times on July 24, 2001 after the latter had picked up the hitchhiker in Weymouth. Sampson also carjacked the victim’s car. A few days later, Sampson fatally stabbed 19-year-old Jonathan Rizzo, a driver who picked him up in Plymouth. It would be just another three days before Sampson would strangle 58-year-old Robert Whitney.

Sampson later pleaded guilty to all three murders. A federal jury in Boston made the recommendation that he put to death and US Chief District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf ordered that Sampson be executed in New Hampshire, which has a state capital murder law. Massachusetts does not have a state death penalty.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Sampson’s death sentence. Later, the US Supreme Court decided not to hear his appeal. Now, prosecutors for the US Attorney’s office say that they intend to fight Sampson’s motion.

Prosecutors seek to dismiss Gary Lee Sampson’s appeal, Boston Herald, August 29, 2010
Lawyers for convicted killer in carjacking murder spree seek new trial, The Boston Globe, August 29, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Sampson Timeline, The Patriot Ledger, High Beam Research, July 24, 2002
Read the 1st Circuit Opinion for this Case, Justia
It is important that you are represented by an experienced Boston murder defense team that can provide you with the proper defense.

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