By DAVE COLLINS, Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A trial date has been set for a long-running appeal by death row inmates who are alleging racial and geographic biases in the state’s process for seeking the death penalty.

A trial before Rockville Superior Court Judge Samuel Sferrazza is scheduled to begin Sept. 5.

The appeal dates to 2005, when inmates filed a challenge to their death sentences alleging that Connecticut’s system for seeking the death penalty is arbitrary and influenced by racial and geographic biases. Nine of the state’s 10 prisoners facing death sentences are involved in the habeas corpus appeal.

But the case may face more delays because state officials repealed the death penalty for future crimes earlier this year. Lawyers in the case say they’re still considering whether to raise the repeal issue.

     (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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