Saturday, February 2, 2008

Death penalty decision in Carnation slayings delayed to May

Death penalty decision in Carnation slayings delayed to MaySeattle P-I, Feb. 2, 2008.

Attorneys for Joseph McEnroe and Michele Anderson, both 29, said they hope for still more time to learn more about the suspects and offer information aimed at persuading Prosecutor Dan Satterberg that death sentences are not deserved.

Anderson's attorney, Kevin Dolan, said he needed to explore her mental health issues and other aspects of her life. While saying little about her specific case, he said that in potential death-penalty cases, sometimes "you have a monstrous act, but not a monster."
The law behind the timing question is RCW 10.95.040, which requires the prosecutor to file notice of seeking the death penalty within 30 days of arraignment.

Sometimes I find it interesting to skim the comments people post using the P-I's "Soundoff" feature. For this article, many people believe that the defendants are guilty and are monsters who deserve to be executed. (The first comment begins "Hang them high!" The range of opinion expressed includes: * there should be no capital punishment; * there should be capital punishment but our leaders don't have the political will to carry out an execution; * child killers are abhorred by other prisoners so someone might "'help' the state along." One person points out:
If you law and order types, salivating at the chance to kill these two in an effort to satisfy your bloodlust for revenge, actually understood our criminal justice system, you'd want the prosecutor to take as long as it takes to exhaust all possible options, to examine every possible aspect to this case, and to compile every possible bit of data so that the convictions - if we get that far - stick and are not overthrown on a technicality by a higher court.

If you want convictions, and you want the ultimate penalty, you had better be patient for the system to work.

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