- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - Prosecutors want a federal judge in Boston to recuse himself from the death penalty trial of convicted killer Gary Lee Sampson, citing the judge’s professional relationship with a potential defense witness.

The request was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Prosecutors say Judge Mark Wolf’s impartiality may be in question. They say Wolf and potential defense witness James Gilligan, a prisoners’ rights advocate, served on a film society panel together on Martha’s Vineyard last year, and Wolf had Gilligan over to his summer island home.

A federal jury condemned Sampson to die for carjacking and killing two Massachusetts men in 2001. In 2011, Wolf ordered a new sentencing trial after finding that a juror lied about her family’s criminal history.

Sampson’s second sentencing trial is scheduled to begin in September.

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