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Great legal minds wring hands over executing a serial killer.


Non-Nike Design
<table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr><td class="sectiontitle">U.S. National - AP</td></tr></tbody> </table> <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr><td height="8">
</td></tr></tbody> </table> Conn. Serial Killer's Execution Postponed

<table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="420"> <tbody><tr valign="middle"> <td width="40%"> <!-- Yahoo TimeStamp: 1107005270 --> <!-- recent_timestamp 1107005270 177 secs not stale 28800 secs --> 2 minutes ago
</td> <td align="right" nowrap="nowrap" width="60%"> <table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="1%"> <tbody><tr><td width="1%"> </td><td nowrap="nowrap" width="99%"> U.S. National - AP</td></tr></tbody></table> </td> </tr></tbody> </table> <!-- TextStart --> [size=-1]By PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press Writer[/size]

SOMERS, Conn. - [size=-1] New England's first execution in 45 years was abruptly put on hold early Saturday after a federal judge reprimanded the serial killer's attorney, saying he was "terribly, terribly wrong" for trying to help end his client's life.[/size] <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="1%"> <tbody><tr valign="top"> <td width="99%"> <!-- ult --> <center> <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="150"> <tbody><tr valign="top"> <td> <!-- http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20050129/thumb.ctrc10401290746.ross_execution_ctrc104.jpg && (http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20050129/thumb.ctrc10401290746.ross_execution_ctrc104.jpg ~~ "http") --> <!-- SlideshowStart --> <table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <!-- SlideshowPhotoStart --> <tbody><tr valign="top"> <td colspan="2"><center>
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</td> <td width="99%"> Slideshow: Competency Hearing Delays Execution of Serial Killer</td> </tr></tbody></table>
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[size=-1] Michael Ross — who has asked to die and has dropped all appeals — was to be put to death by injection early Saturday. But with an hour to spare, state officials rescheduled the execution for Monday at the request of Ross' lawyer, T.R. Paulding. [/size]

[size=-1] "The request made by Mr. Paulding today is appropriate and we have no choice but to honor it," Chief State's Attorney Christopher Morano said. [/size]

[size=-1] Paulding said he needed to address a possible conflict of interest. Ross, 45, hired him last year to help expedite his execution. [/size]

[size=-1] Ross, an Ivy League graduate who terrorized eastern Connecticut and New York in the early 1980s, has confessed to eight murders. Family members of his victims said they were shocked by the turn of events. [/size]

[size=-1] "He's guilty. He wants to die. So if he isn't executed, whom would you execute?" said Lan Manh Tu, whose sister, Dzung Ngoc Tu, was Ross' first known victim. [/size]

[size=-1] Raymond and Ellen Roode, whose daughter, April Brunais, was killed by Ross, said they don't believe he will ever be executed. [/size]

[size=-1] "It's been 20 years for those girls who are in their graves," Ellen Roode said. "It's too bad." [/size]

[size=-1] Although Ross has said he does not want to die, he decided last year to drop his appeals to spare the victims' families additional agony. His father and state public defenders, however, took up his appeals, fighting against his will to save his life. [/size]

[size=-1] On Friday, state officials believed they had cleared the last hurdle in the case, when the Supreme Court rejected pleas by Ross' father to spare his son's life. But then Paulding asked for the delay, disrupting execution plans at the last moment. [/size]

[size=-1] Earlier in the day, Paulding had been reprimanded by U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny, who threatened to strip him of his law license, according to court documents released by the U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites). [/size]

[size=-1] "I see this happening and I can't live with it myself, which is why I'm on the phone right now," Chatigny said in a telephone conference with Paulding, according to court records. "What you are doing is terribly, terribly wrong." [/size]

[size=-1] Chatigny, who had tried to delay the execution to hold a competency hearing but was overruled, accused Paulding of ignoring new information from another inmate, Ramon Lopez, and a prison guard who say Ross only wanted to die because of deplorable death row conditions. [/size]

[size=-1] "You better be prepared to live with yourself for the rest of your life," Chatigny said. "And you better be prepared to deal with me if in the wake of this an investigation is conducted and it turns out that what Lopez says and what this former program director says is true, because I'll have your law license." [/size]

[size=-1] Paulding would not say what he needed to consider this weekend, although he noted that his client did not ask for the delay. [/size]

[size=-1] "I feel that it is imperative I take the appropriate steps," Paulding said. "I will be taking those steps with all due diligence in the next two days." [/size]

[size=-1] The state has to execute Ross by 11:59 p.m. Monday or its death warrant expires. That would force officials to go back before a judge and ask for a new one.
Personal note to District Judge Robert Chatigny: Ummm....yeah, I'm prepared to "live with myself" for expediting the execution of an Ivy League-educated serial killer of women.