Supreme Court review could affect Vt. man’s death-penalty case

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The case of a former city man on federal death row could be affected by a U.S. Supreme court case questioning the constitutionality of lethal injection.

Donald R. Fell became the first man sentenced to die by a Vermont jury in more than 50 years when he was convicted two years ago of carjacking and kidnapping Terry King of North Clarendon, taking her to New York state and killing her there.

An accomplice died in prison while awaiting trial, but Fell is now on death row in the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., early in an appeals process that could take more than 10 years.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is soon to hear arguments by lawyers for two Kentucky men that lethal injection, the method of execution used at Terre Haute and in many states that have the death penalty, is cruel and unusual punishment.

Professor Michael Mello of Vermont Law School says if the court rules against the current method of lethal injection, that could put executions on hold around the country.

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