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Judge asked to toss ex-N.O. cop's death sentence

3 years ago March 20, 2012 Mar 20, 2012 Tuesday, March 20 2012 Tuesday, March 20, 2012 6:12:46 AM EDT in News
Source: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - Defense attorneys are asking a federal judge to order a new trial, throw out the conviction or overturn the death sentence for a former New Orleans police officer found guilty of arranging a woman's murder in 1994.

The request filed Monday by a Capital Appeals Project attorney argues Len Davis has a serious mental impairment that rendered him incompetent to stand trial on charges he directed a drug dealer to shoot and kill Kim Groves after she filed a brutality complaint against him.

Defense lawyers also argue that the Justice Department had a conflict of interest in prosecuting Davis.

U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan has allowed Davis to represent himself during his post-conviction proceedings, but his standby counsel says Davis will be executed if they don't act on his behalf.

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