Indiana judge lets death penalty appeal go to high court

This undated photo provided by the Lake County Sheriff's office shows Darren Vann. Vann, 43, of Gary, Ind., was charged Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 in the death of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy, whose body was found Friday night at a Motel 6 in nearby Hammond, Ind. Hammond Police Chief John Doughty says Vann confessed to Hardy's slaying and directed police to six bodies in Gary. (AP Photo/Lake County Sheriff's Office)

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana judge has ruled that a man who faces the death penalty can appeal claiming the state’s death penalty law is unconstitutional.

The Gary Post-Tribune reports that a Lake County judge made the ruling Friday in the case of 45-year-old Darren Vann, who is charged in the deaths of seven women. Last year Vann’s attorneys made the argument in a case filing but a judge denied their claim. On Friday the attorneys asked the judge if they could appeal the ruling to the Indiana Supreme Court and the judge allowed it.

Officials with the Lake County prosecutor’s office said they agree with the judge’s ruling but don’t object to the defense’s appeal.

Lake County prosecutors requested the death penalty in Vann’s case.