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Law

Connecticut Supreme Court won't block Ross execution

From Stacey Delikat
CNN

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Connecticut
Michael Ross
Capital Punishment

(CNN) -- Connecticut's Supreme Court on Monday struck down another request to postpone the execution of convicted killer Michael Ross, scheduled to be New England's first execution in 45 years.

Ross, who was sentenced to death in the killings of four eastern Connecticut women in the 1980s, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 2 a.m. Friday.

He has rejected all efforts to postpone his execution, saying he wants to die. But his father and court-appointed attorneys have been trying to stop the state from proceeding, claiming Ross is not competent to drop his appeals.

Ross' court-appointed lawyer, Thomas Groark, filed papers with the state Supreme Court in April to challenge a judge's ruling that Ross was competent to accept his death sentence.

But T.R. Paulding, Ross' private attorney, said Ross has repeatedly invoked his right to die and his wishes should be respected. If a full round of appeals were allowed, it most likely would prevent his client's execution, he said.

His relatives argue Ross suffers from "death row syndrome," in which a person's mental state is degraded by being on death row for a long period and he thinks it would be better to die.

Ross has admitted killing eight women -- six in Connecticut and two in New York -- as part of a crime spree in at least five states.

His execution would be the first in New England since 1960, when Connecticut inmate Joseph Taborsky died in the state's electric chair. Four of the other five states in the region -- Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont -- have no death penalty, while New Hampshire's last execution was in 1939.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick contributed to this report.


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