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America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

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With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

Florida father spared from death penalty for beating his 5-year-old son to death

Darell Avant Sr. and Jr.
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An Orange County jury decided to spare a man from the death sentence for beating his five-year-old son to death.

Darrell Avant Sr. was convicted last week of killing Darell Avant, Jr. after the boy got in trouble at school. 

Avant Sr. will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors said Avant Sr. abused the trust he had as the boy's father

One of the big claims the defense made revolves around Avant Sr.’s waiting 30 minutes after the beating to call 911. 

During the trial, prosecutors used Avant Sr.’s Google searches as evidence. They said he searched, “how to tell if an infant is dead,” before calling 911. 

This week, jurors and the judge heard from family, a teacher and doctors.

A doctor that testified Monday said Avant Sr. may not have been able to recognize that his son was dead.

On Tuesday, a neurologist testified Avant Sr. used his mental problems to avoid the death penalty. A day earlier, a different doctor blamed Avant Sr.’s murderous rage on a brain injury and that his cognitive abilities are not as good as they should be.

The child’s mother also took the witness stand and said she wished she could go back and pick him up from school herself instead of leaving him with a killer.

"He meant the world, he meant the world to me. And no words, no words can explain how much he meant to me," said Jessica Phillips.

Source: wftv.com, Kevin Williams, Field Sutton, July 5, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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