...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003
      ( 1:58 PM )
The Wolves Don't Get their Meat Today

A huge push in getting the venues for the DC Sniper cases was whether the death penalty could be used. Trying Lee Boyd Malvo as an adult and making the death penalty an option was one of the major pushes by the prosecutors in the various states who shared jurisdiction. They all decided on Virginia since Virginia has the death penalty and historically hasn't been afraid to use it. But the jury in the first case had an extremely difficult time deciding on the death penalty, and even after it did, many jurors expressed reservations and even admitted they were anti-death penalty after this experience.

The jury's decision has come in on Malvo, and they've decided against the death penalty.

A Virginia jury Tuesday decided Lee Boyd
Malvo should be sentenced to life in prison
without parole for his role in the Washington
-area sniper killings, rejecting prosecutors'
call for his execution.

The verdict followed about nine hours of
deliberation over two days. Judge Jane Marum
Roush set formal sentencing for March 10.

The death penalty is an arcane form of retribution, not punishment. It does not provide deterrence (unless it were possibly a sentence white collar criminals might get), and it has so often proven to have been falsly arrived at that the practical arguments are all against it. It simply isn't a choice that human beings on a jury should have to make for another human being. That juries are put into the position of having to decide a person's life or death is unconscionable. A lifetime without parole is not a cakewalk nor is it some sort of reward. It is a horrible sentence and a terrible consequence of a terrible action. As it should be. The jury made the right choice and I applaud them for not giving into the incredible pressures the prosecution and the politicians have put on them from the very beginning of these cases.

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