Death penalty ruling up for vote

PHILADELPHIA. The state District Attorneys Association urged legislators to defeat a bill that would enable capital-case defendants to call for a hearing on “the issue of mental retardation” prior to trial. The legislation, which passed the House judiciary committee 14-12, is up for a full State House vote this week.

Association president Edward Marsico Jr. said he worries it’d give defense attorneys “a new litigation tactic to help murder defend­ants avoid the death penalty.

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