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Court to decide if convicted officer gets retrial

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[January 19, 2013]  WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court will decide whether a former Detroit police officer convicted of killing his girlfriend should get a retrial.

The justices on Friday agreed to hear an appeal from Michigan officials who want to stop a new trial for Burt Lancaster, who was convicted of shooting and killing Toni King in a restaurant parking lot in 1993 with a gun stolen from his mother.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a retrial so that Lancaster could raise a diminished mental-capacity defense, something Michigan courts would not let him do.

Michigan officials say that decision should be overturned because the diminished mental-capacity defense was not available in Michigan, and federal courts should not second-guess reasonable state court decisions.

The justices will hear the case later this year.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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