New Mexico – SANTA FE, N.M. (KRWG) A defense attorney is asking the state's highest court to allow him to present evidence about New Mexico's repeal of the death penalty when jurors consider the sentencing of an Albuquerque man for the murder of a Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy.
A jury meets next month to decide whether to impose the death penalty on Michael Astorga for the 2006 killing of Deputy James McGrane Jr.
Astorga's lawyer says the repeal of the death penalty in 2009 should be a mitigating factor the jury considers in deciding whether to sentence Astorga to death or life in prison.
Defense lawyer Gary Mitchell filed his request Monday with the Supreme Court. He also wants to present evidence to try to show the sentencing jury that Astorga is innocent of McGrane's murder.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. KRWG