Kopp in French Court

james, kopp, abortion
A three-judge panel in France will announce on June 28 whether James Kopp, accused in the fatal shooting of New York abortion doctor Barnett Slepian, can be extradited to the United States.

Kopp's French lawyer argued that his client faces a possible death sentence if he is returned to the United States. France abolished its death penalty in 1981 and does not extradite suspects who face the death penalty at home. During Thursday's hour-long hearing, Kopp's French lawyer argued that a letter form the U.S. embassy in Paris saying Kopp would not face the death penalty is not legally binding. There is no name beside the initials on the letter, and therefore no clear indication who wrote it.

Kopp was arrested in March, after a two-year manhunt that saw him on the top of the FBI's ten most-wanted list. He faces state and federal charges of murder and violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act by using deadly force against Dr. Slepian.