A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Federal jury recommends death sentence in first VT capital trial for half-century

[JURIST] A federal jury in Vermont Thursday recommended the death penalty for Donald Fell, convicted [JURIST report] in June of kidnapping and murdering a supermarket worker [Rutland Herald report; case archives] in 2000. Vermont hasn't executed a convict since 1954, and the last death sentence given in 1957 was later commuted. The state formally abolished the death penalty in 1987. The federal government took jurisdiction of the case and brought the federal court proceeding [JURIST report] since Fell kidnapped his victim in Vermont and murdered her in New York. On appeal, the US Second Circuit allowed federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty [Rutland Herald report]. In 2001, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft nixed an agreement by Fell to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.