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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)