MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The attorneys for a Vermont man facing a second federal death penalty trial are asking a judge to declare the punishment unconstitutional.
In documents filed Monday, attorneys for Donald Fell argued the federal death penalty should be ruled unconstitutional because implementing it requires help from state officials, in violation of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Prosecutors are expected to oppose the motion.
The 38-year-old Fell is facing a death penalty retrial in the 2000 kidnap and killing of Terry King, a Rutland supermarket worker who was abducted when she arrived for work and later killed.
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Fell was found guilty and sentenced to death in 2005, but the case was dismissed in 2014 because of juror misconduct.
Jury selection for the new trial is set for September.