Cheyenne, WY – A federal judge says he's concerned that
the State of Wyoming blocked the release of information to defense lawyers who represented a prison inmate sentenced to death in 1998 for the murder of a prison guard.
U-S District Judge Clarence Brimmer began a hearing in Cheyenne this week on inmate James Harlow's claim that he didn't get a fair trial.
Harlow was convicted of murdering Corporal Wayne Martinez at the Rawlins prison in 1997 while two other inmates involved in the slaying only got life sentences.
Brimmer says he wants state officials to explain why the state
blocked the release of mental health files of inmate witnesses who testified against Harlow to his original defense team.
The judge says that the files raise questions about the competence of one witness to testify and says fairness demanded
that Harlow's team have that information.
Wyoming Attorney General Pat Crank says that the state is confident that Harlow got an effective defense and that the death penalty was appropriate in the case.