Feds won't appeal court ruling in Sampson case


BOSTON (AP) - Federal prosecutors won't challenge an appeals court ruling striking down the death sentence of Gary Lee Sampson because of a juror problem at his 2003 sentencing hearing.

The Boston Globe reports U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said in a brief filing Thursday her office won't appeal the July decision by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf is expected to hold a hearing to ask prosecutors if they want a new death penalty hearing, or to allow Sampson to serve life.

Sampson pleaded guilty to federal charges he carjacked and killed 69-year-old Phillip McCloskey and 19-year-old Jonathan Rizzo when each picked him up hitchhiking in Massachusetts in July 2001.

He pleaded guilty to a New Hampshire state charge that he killed 59-year-old Robert Whitney in a burglary there a few days later.