News Update 03.04.08
Jonte Devon McLaurin has been acquitted of murder. Instead, McLaurin was convicted of conspiracy to commit armed robbery for his part in a 2006 drug-related robbery gone wrong. If convicted of first-degree murder, McLaurin would have faced the death penalty. McLaurin’s co-defendant, Ryan Omar Simmons, is still awaiting trial.
In Brooklyn, federal judges are asking the Attorney General to stop wasting time and money, and start making better decisions about when to seek the death penalty. Federal prosecutors are batting one for six in the Eastern District of New York. Among the cases presently awaiting a capital trial is one in which the defendant was found not guilty of the same charges in state court. (c/o How Appealing and CDW)
A new study indicates that when the death penalty is used as a bargaining chip, defendants are no more likely to plead guilty than they would if death was not on the table. However, defendants who do plead guilty accept longer sentences when death is on the line. (c/o SLAP)