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Defense argues mental deficiencies in murder case

October 30, 2013 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Defense attorneys trying to spare convicted murderer John McCluskey from the death penalty showed jurors a scan Wednesday that they say shows “a small defect” in one area of his brain.

Wrapping up the first phase of McCluskey’s sentencing trial, the last defense witness, radiologist Mark Depper, testified that scans of McCluskey’s brain show a defect in the left cerebellum, an area that is most associated with coordinating movement and balance.

The defense has called several neurological experts over the last week in support of their argument that McCluskey is incapable of controlling his impulses and making reasoned decisions due to brain abnormalities, emotional and physical abuse, and a long history of drug and alcohol abuse.

Prosecutors on Wednesday again pointed to McCluskey’s violent criminal past, saying he meets the criteria Login to read more

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