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Jury Selection to Begin in Astorga Sentencing

Jury selection is set to begin in the death penalty phase in the trial of Michael Paul Astorga who was convicted in 2006 of killing Bernalillo County deputy James McGraneJr.

Jurors will be asked to sentence Astorga to life in prison or to death, even though New Mexico repealed the death penalty in 2009. Astorga is still eligible for the death penalty since the crime occurred before the repeal.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the move comes as more states look at New Mexico on how to handle executions after the death penalty is repealed.