Feds urge judge: Don't put cloak over Gabrion death penalty appeal

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Federal prosecutors in western Michigan are urging a judge to let the public see recent court filings in a death penalty case.

Attorneys for Marvin Gabrion want to keep a cover on the latest challenge to his death sentence.

There might be references to Gabrion’s mental health.

In 2002, Gabrion was convicted of killing a woman in a national forest in Newaygo County, north of Grand Rapids.

He was sentenced to death, a punishment available for murders prosecuted in federal court. He’s still fighting the sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim VerHey says the public isn’t served when court filings in a well-known case like Gabrion’s are kept secret.

It’s not known when Judge Robert Holmes Bell will make a decision.