Robert Chatigny, the 2nd Circuit judge awaiting confirmation, will continue to wait indefinitely as Republican senators review a death penalty case that attracted national attention in 2005.According to The National Law Journal, the Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to hold his confirmation hearing yesterday, but Democratic Chairman Patrick Leahy agreed to hold off.
NLJ: A spokesman for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the Judiciary Committee’s top Republican, said GOP senators “asked for an extension to review [Chatigny’s] long record, particularly in light of the unusual speed with which his hearing was scheduled.”
Five years ago, Judge Chatigny was the presiding justice in the case of confessed serial killer Michael Ross. He was slated to be the first person to be executed in New England since 1960, but his lethal injection was repeatedly postponed due to court challenges.
In the last round of challenges, Chatigny accused Ross’ attorney, T.R. Paulding, of neglecting to examine evidence of his client’s mental incompetency. Ross hired Paulding to expedite his execution, saying at the time that he wanted to end the anguish of his victims’ families.
An ethics investigation followed the incident. Chatigny was cleared of misconduct, but Senators would like more time to examine his history.
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