Appeals court takes another look at death sentence

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Ten years later, a federal appeals court is taking a fresh look at a rare death sentence for a western Michigan man who was convicted of drowning a woman in a national forest.

A three-judge panel at the appeals court threw out the sentence
last year and ordered a new hearing. The full court set that decision aside and said it would hear arguments Wednesday.

A decision won't come for weeks or months.

Federal prosecutors in Grand Rapids want Marvin Gabrion's death sentence to stand. But his lawyers say the judge overseeing the case in 2002 put too many limits on the defense during the sentencing phase of the trial.

Jurors ordered death for Gabrion, who was accused of killing a
woman who had accused him of rape.


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