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CT Public Defenders to File Death-Row Challenge

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WikiMedia Commons

Connecticut public defenders hope to use the trial of a Bridgeport man as the venue to challenge the constitutionality of a new law that outlaws capital punishment in the state, but only for future crimes.

Richard Roszkowski is awaiting the penalty phase of his capital trial for the 2006 murders of his former girlfriend, her 9-year-old daughter and his former roommate.

Michael Courtney, head of the state Public Defender's Office capital defense unit, said Wednesday he plans to file a brief by August 7 in the case, challenging the state's right to seek the death penalty.

Prosecutors say that challenge is premature, because Roszkowski is seeking to serve as his own attorney in the case.

Judge Robert Devlin Jr. said he will rule on that request on June 6.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.