US says Vt. death penalty hearing should be open - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

US says Vt. death penalty hearing should be open

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a hearing should be public into whether juror misconduct tainted the trial of a man on federal death row for killing a Vermont woman.

The attorneys for Donald Fell have asked a judge to close to the public the Aug. 15 hearing in federal court in Burlington because they feel the jurors from the 2005 trial would be more likely to speak freely.

The Burlington Free Press reports prosecutors say it would make little sense to require public scrutiny of criminal trials and later permit the outcome to be overturned in secret.

The defense says three jurors misled lawyers during the jury-selection process or engaged in questionable conduct during the trial.

Fell is on death row for the November 2000 killing of Terry King of North Clarendon.

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