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Prosecutor seeks sanctions for Len Davis defense attorneys


A federal prosecutor argues two court-appointed defense attorneys should be sanctioned for challenging a former New Orleans police officer's convictions and death sentence without his authorization.

Len Davis, who was sentenced to death for arranging a woman's 1994 murder, has elected to represent himself during his post-conviction proceedings. In March, however, his standby counsel filed a petition asking U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan to overturn his death sentence or order a new trial.

In a court filing Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael McMahon argues the lawyers should be sanctioned for defying Berrigan's order not to file anything on Davis' behalf without his consent.

McMahon also is asking the judge to strike the attorneys' petition, which claims Davis has a serious mental impairment that rendered him incompetent to stand trial.

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