Lawyers for Russell Peeler Jr. will make arguments today before Connecticut’s State Supreme Court that Peeler should not be put to death.
Peeler was convicted for a double murder in 1999, then sentenced to death in 2007. His legal team has been working on an appeal ever since.
The appeal has 33 points which include arguments that the jury was not racially diverse enough, that the prosecution’s key witness had credibility issues, and that Peeler’s brother was actually the trigger man.
Russel Peeler Jr. was 27 years old in 1999 when he was convicted for double murder. The case against him centered around the execution style deaths of Karen Clarke and her 8-year-old son B.J. Mother and son were set to be witnesses in a murder trial in which Peeler was the defendant, prosecutors said Peeler’s motive in the killings was to keep them from testifying against him.
The case is rooted in Bridgeport drug dealers and street violence, but Peeler Jr. has maintained he had nothing to do with the shootings of Clarke and her son.
Another corner stone of this attempt to save Peeler Junior’s life is this:
Back in 2012, when Connecticut repealed the death penalty it was for future cases only. Peeler’s lawyers will present the judges with a question of ethics. They’ll ask why a crime committed before 2012 should be punishable by death, but if the same crime were committed today, it wouldn’t be.
If the state State Supreme Court sides with Peeler Jr.– that could open the door for future appeals from Connecticut’s other 10 death row inmates.