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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just read an article in the NY Times about a guy convicted in Pennsylvania of murdering a man who had been sexually abusing him and other kids. The jury was not informed of the victim's actions towards kids. Several jury members claimed they were not aware the killer had been sexually abused by the victim. The jury was also not informed that had they chosen a sentence of Life in prison that it would have meant without possibility of parole. In other words he would have been in prison until he died. Several jurors have stated they would have chosen Life in Prison had they understood that it would be w/o parole.
There has been significant pressure on the Pennsylvania Governor to commute the sentence to Life w/o parole. The victim's wife has now asked that the killer not be executed, as has the Roman Catholic Archbishop for Philadelphia, judges, child advocates and many others.
In a separate trial, the killer was also convicted of third degree murder for killing another man who had been having sex with him.
Should the jury have been informed that a sentence of Life in Prison meant without parole?
Should the jury have been informed of the victim's abuse toward the killer and other children?
Was a death sentence appropriate in this case?
Personally, I feel his sentence should be commuted to Life, especially since the jury was not properly informed about their options.
 

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So, to make a long story short, the abused turns and kills the abusers. He then gets convicted of murder with a sentence of death by lethal injection.

IMHO, the victims cannot be claimed as such. They got less than what they truly deserved. The real victim became the vindicator, in such a case, he should be set free (with conditions of mental rehabilitation) and a call for reform of the PA legal system, starting with the lower CC judges. The wife of the abuser should have absolutely no plea; if anything, she sould be resentful of her husbands actions, not the consequences of them. This is a certainly a sensitive subject, but if any one here, judges or juror was the accused victim, they would certanly feel difference in how the legal system handled their case.

Story
 

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Imho, let him walk free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mods - Please move if needed. Sorry, if I posted this in he wrong spot.
I had posted this partly in response to a thread on DUI where murder was mentioned. My main point was that the jury was improperly informed of their choices in a death penalty case and this is my main complaint about the death penalty. If the death penalty is to be used, it is imperative that it be fairly and properly applied. For a death penalty jury to not be fully informed of their options is just plain wrong!
 

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informing the jury about the "victim" turn "killer"s situation is the job of the "killer"s lawyer. there is an option for appeal as well.
 

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informing the jury about the "victim" turn "killer"s situation is the job of the "killer"s lawyer. there is an option for appeal as well.
There are a copule of explanations for why the jury did not get that information. The most likely is that the judge, persuaded by the prosecutor, did not allow the evidence to be admitted. The judge is the gatekeeper of evidence at thwe trial, admitting only what is proper and barring what is irrelevant or so prejudicial that it would taint the process unfailry. At least that's how it's supposed to work.

The second possibility is that the defense lawyer was simply ineffective. Ineffective assistance of counsel is one of the prime reasons appelate courts use to overturn death penaly verdicts.

I'm a little confused by the explanation of the staus of the case. In Ohio (and I believe most other jurisdictions) death penalty trials have two phases: guilt phase and penatly phase. I can see a reason for admitting the evidence about the voctim's abuse of his killer during both phases. I'm baffled why it wasn't.

junior said:
Where did you read this -- The Onion?

Juries don't sentence. They decide Guilty or Not Guilty....
Not true. What's the basis for your sweeping generalization - - A Turnip?
 

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Not true. What's the basis for your sweeping generalization - - A Turnip?
A little more explanation of this might help junior, oh wise lawyerly type. My understanding is that (most likely depending on the jurisdiction, and the severity of the case) the jury will recommend a sentence, after deliberating the penalty phase. The judge is free to accept, or alter the returned recommendation from the jury.

Technically, he is right, but not correct enough for the level of snark in his post.
 
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