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The State

August 29, 1985

A federal judge in San Francisco agreed to consider the Washington Legal Foundation's proposal to invoke the death penalty in the espionage case against Jerry Whitworth, who is accused of passing Navy secrets to the Soviet Union. The foundation, a conservative group, was unsuccessful in seeking application of the death penalty in three related cases, and U.S. District Judge John Vukasin initially refused to allow the organization even to submit written arguments. But he reversed his previous stand and scheduled a hearing on the matter for Sept. 12. Whitworth, 45, is accused of providing information about Navy communication systems to John A. Walker Jr., who is awaiting trial on charges of selling the data to Soviet agents.

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