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Rare death penalty case to begin in Vermont

[JURIST] A federal court in Burlington, Vermont is expected to hear opening statements Monday in the first death-penalty case in the state since 1957. Vermont does not have a death penalty but Donald Fell was charged under a federal capital murder law after abducting one of his victims, Terry King, in Vermont before later killing her in New York. In 2002, Fell's attorneys and prosecutors had reached a plea deal in which Fell would plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence but the US Department of Justice later intervened, insisting on the death penalty. Fell, who has a long history of substance abuse and was abandoned by both parents at childhood, is expected to argue that because of his troubled upbringing he should be given a sentence of life in prison. AP has more. The Vermont Rutland Herald provides extensive local coverage.

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