A federal judge imposed the first death sentence in Massachusetts in three decades, ordering the execution of a man who killed two people in a carjacking.
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf specified that Gary Lee Sampson be put to death in neighboring New Hampshire, saying relatives of Sampson’s victims may want to witness the execution and that appeals could then stay in the same court system.
Sampson, 44, pleaded guilty to carjacking and murder, admitting he killed Jonathan Rizzo, 19, and Philip McCloskey, 69, in July 2001 so he could take their cars. He faces separate charges for a slaying in New Hampshire during the spree.
Sampson is the first person sentenced to die in Massachusetts under the current federal death penalty statute. The state abolished its capital punishment statute in 1984.