Convicted Serial Killer Gary Lee Sampson Sentenced to Death - NBC Boston

Convicted Serial Killer Gary Lee Sampson Sentenced to Death

The verdict was read on Monday afternoon

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    (Published Monday, Jan. 9, 2017)

    A jury sentenced convicted serial killer Gary Lee Sampson to death on Monday afternoon.

    Sampson confessed to carjacking and killing 19-year-old Jonathan Rizzo and 69-year-old Philip McCloskey in Massachusetts before killing a third man in New Hampshire on a week-long rampage in July 2001.

    "Today the jury has spoken," U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said. "Gary Lee Sampson will pay with his life for all the heinous crimes that he committed."

    Jurors were unable to come to a unanimous decision on life or death for McCloskey's murder, but Sampson received the death penalty for Rizzo's murder.

    U.S. Attorney Ortiz On Sampson Death Penalty

    [NECN] U.S. Attorney Ortiz On Sampson Death Penalty
    U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz discusses Gary Lee Sampson's death penalty for the 2001 murder of Jonathan Rizzo.
    (Published Monday, Jan. 9, 2017)

    "Make no mistake about it. The evidence and the testimony that was presented to the jury was heartwrenching and painful to hear, and also very graphic," Ortiz said. "Their verdict today proved that they were truly impartial and they could reach a unanimous decision based on the evidence before them, despite how emotional, and actually how difficult, it was."

    While Ortiz said the split verdict that resulted only in a life sentence for the McCloskey murder was disappointing, her team believes the death penalty in Rizzo's encompassed all the crimes Sampson committed.

    Sampson showed no apparent reaction to his sentence.

    Monday's sentencing came following a dramatic morning in court.

    Jurors asked two questions, with the second coming just moments before noon. The second question was asked after a juror tried to slip a letter into the jury's verdict packet.

    Prosecutors argued that the court should inform the jury the letter is not to be included with any verdict form, while Sampson's defense attorneys preferred to poll jurors on the verdict.

    Gary Lee Sampson Sentenced to Death Again

    [NECN] Gary Lee Sampson Sentenced to Death Again
    Convicted carjack killer Gary Lee Sampson, whose previous death sentence was overturned, got the death penalty again after a sentencing retrial.
    (Published Monday, Jan. 9, 2017)

    Ultimately, the judge decided on polling jurors after the verdict was read.

    Sampson was originally sentenced to die in 2003, but a judge overturned that jury's decision after finding wrongdoings by one of the jurors. At the time, he was the first person sentenced to death in Massachusetts under the federal death penalty.

    This latest jury started deliberating last Thursday. Jurors were faced with a complex verdict form, nearly 30 pages and with more than 250 decisions they may have to make – some of them unanimous – before they have officially reached a verdict in this case.

    Jurors Deliberate in Sampson Trial

    [NECN] Jurors Deliberate in Sampson Trial
    Jurors are deciding whether Gary Lee Sampson should once again be sentenced to death for his deadly week-long rampage in 2001.
    (Published Friday, Jan. 6, 2017)