Michael Anthony Archuleta is taking the long fight to overturn his capital murder conviction, which condemns him to death, to federal court.
He's appealed five times in state court, all of them rejected. With those district court options exhausted, Archuleta turns now to a federal appeal, filing an 182-page petition Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Utah to overturn the conviction on Constitutional grounds.
Archuleta's attorneys argue 16 reasons in the petition why their client's death penalty is unconstitutional, including a deficient defense and that cumulative errors in the trial prevented him from having a fair day in court. The petition also claims that he may meet Utah criteria for mental retardation, which would exempt him from execution.