Death Penalty Appeal Hearing Scheduled in Connecticut Supreme Court

By Dave Collins
|  Thursday, Jun 5, 2014  |  Updated 3:40 PM EDT
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Death Penalty Appeal Scheduled in Connecticut Court

Russell Peeler Jr., 38, was convicted of ordering the 1999 killing of 8-year-old Leroy "B.J." Brown Jr. and his mother, Karen Clarke, in their Bridgeport duplex. The boy was expected to be the key witness against Peeler in the fatal shooting of Clarke's boyfriend.

The state Supreme Court has scheduled a rare special session to hear the death penalty appeal of Russell Peeler Jr., who ordered the killings of a woman and her 8-year-old son.

Justices are scheduled to hear Peeler's appeal of his death sentence on Monday June 30 at 10 a.m. in Hartford. The court was supposed to take up the case last month, but had to postpone it.

Peeler's public defenders argue he shouldn't have been condemned to die for ordering the killings of Karen Clarke and her son, Leroy "B.J." Brown in Bridgeport in 1999. B.J. was a key witness against Peeler in another case.

The Supreme Court currently is deciding whether the state's 2012 repeal of the death penalty for future killings violates the equal protection rights of the 11 men on death row.

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