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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…

Utah to seek death penalty for parents charged with killing daughter, covering her in makeup

Miller Costello and Brenda Emile
OGDEN, UTAH — A couple accused of murdering their 3-year-old daughter and trying to conceal her injuries with makeup will face the death penalty if convicted, the state of Utah announced Tuesday.

Miller Costello and Brenda Emile are accused of fatally beating their daughter, Angelino Costello, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The couple first called 911 in July 2017 to report Angelino was unconscious and not breathing, KSTU reported.

Police said the girl had extensive injuries to her body, including a large burn on her chest and several burns on her hands, legs and feet. It also appeared she had been dead for some time.

Investigators say Emile admitted to officers that she tried to hide the abuse by covering the child in makeup.

Emile told police she tried to hide the injuries so “they didn’t look so bad,” KSTU reported.

Some of the abuse was allegedly recorded on cellphone camera.

Police searched the cellphones of both parents and found videos of Costello and Emile taunting the toddler with food, removing it and then punishing her, asking if she was “evil,” KSTU reported.

Another video allegedly shows Costello using the foot of an infant child to kick their daughter in the face, prosecutors said.

In a hearing in February, Ogden officers testified that the 3-year-old looked like a “Holocaust victim,” with thinning hair, sunken eyes and little to no muscle, KSL reported.

The child appeared to look increasingly worse in the photos while her two other siblings appeared healthy.

Those children have been removed from the home.

Costello and Emile have ties to a gypsy community and have several alternative names and addresses in multiple states, according to KUTV.

Attorneys for Webster County filed a notice in Utah’s Second District Court on Tuesday, stating their intent to seek the death penalty against both Costello and Emile. 

Both are charged with aggravated murder as a capital felony. 

Source: ajc.com, Lauren Padgett, July 11, 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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