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Nevada inmate on death row 34 years heads back to court

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Posted at 9:38 AM, May 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-06 12:38:12-04

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada inmate on death row for more than 30 years is headed back to court to try to get his execution sentence reduced to life in prison without parole.

A federal appeal court upheld 67-year-old Tracy Petrocelli's 1982 murder conviction two years ago but ruled his rights had been violated during the penalty phase.

Jury selection for the rehearing of his sentence is scheduled Monday in Washoe District Court in Reno.

Petrocelli was convicted of killing a used car salesman in Reno in 1982 just months after killing his girlfriend in Seattle.

He's filed multiple appeals since he was sent to death row in 1985.

The appellate court ruled his attorney should have been present when he was interviewed by a psychiatrist who later testified for the prosecution.