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New Charlotte prosecutor seeking death sentences

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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) -- The district attorney who took over in
Charlotte this year plans to seek the death sentence in three cases
in the next year.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Mecklenburg County court
has handled just four capital murder cases in the past 10 years.

District Attorney Andrew Murray says he wants to bring closure
for victims' families and reduce the backlog in murder cases.

Mecklenburg County has a backlog of 135 homicide cases. Murray
plans to try as many as 15 other murder trials in the next year in
cases where he won't seek the death penalty. The penalty for those
cases would be life in prison without parole.

Defense attorney George Laughrun says prosecutors are more
aggressive under Murray in handling of other felonies, as well.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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