CT high court to hear death penalty case

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The state Supreme Court has scheduled a rare special session to hear the death penalty appeal of Russell Peeler Jr., who ordered the killings of a woman and her 8-year-old son.

Justices are scheduled to hear Peeler’s appeal of his death sentence on June 30. The court was supposed to take up the case last month, but had to postpone it.

Peeler’s public defenders argue he shouldn’t have been condemned to die for ordering the killings of Karen Clarke and her son, Leroy “B.J.” Brown in Bridgeport in 1999. B.J. was a key witness against Peeler in another case.

The Supreme Court currently is deciding whether the state’s 2012 repeal of the death penalty for future killings violates the equal protection rights of the 11 men on death row.

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