Attorneys for a white supremacist on federal death row for killing three members of a Pope County family asked a judge Friday to grant a new sentencing hearing.
Karl Schwartz, an attorney for 40-year-old Danny Lee, told U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes that Lee's lawyers when he was convicted in 1999 failed to challenge testimony that labeled him a dangerous "psychopath."
That information led to him being sentenced to death, Schwartz said, calling that outcome "offensive to the Constitution."
An attorney for the Department of Justice said the appeal for a new sentence falls short on jurisdictional and other grounds and shouldn't be granted.
Lee and co-defendant Chevie Kehoe were convicted of a number of charges including murder in aid of racketeering in the killings of gun dealer Bill Mueller, his wife and their 8-year-old daughter. The bodies were found in Illinois Bayou in Pope County.
Lee and Chevie Kehoe, who also robbed the family, were trying to establish a white supremacist nation in the Pacific Northwest.
Holmes thanked attorneys on both sides for "thorough" presentations and said he'd issue a ruling "in due course," though he said couldn't say how long it would take.
Lee didn't attend the hearing.
The Associated Press contributed to this story