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Judge clears way for first New England execution in 45 years

[JURIST] Connecticut Superior Court judge Patrick J. Clifford ruled Friday that convicted serial killer Michael Ross [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] is mentally competent to waive his death penalty appeals. Ross, who was convicted of raping and killing eight woman in Connecticut and New York in the 1980s is scheduled to die by lethal injection on May 11. The decision comes after six days of conflicting testimony by psychiatrists who evaluated Ross' competency. Ross has repeatedly requested that his execution be expedited, and has fought off attempts from him family and death penalty opponents to stop his execution. Thomas Groark, special counsel appointed by Judge Clifford to argue Ross was incompetent, and the only person with standing to appeal the decision, has not announced plans to challenge the decision. Review a summary of Connecticut's death penalty laws . AP has more.

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