Doodstraf dreigt voor VU-prof

Nieuws | de redactie
27 april 2009 | De VU-hoogleraar die in de USA zijn ex-vrouw en twee omstanders doodde, moet vrezen voor zijn eigen leven. De staat Georgia –waar hij de moord pleegde – kent duidelijke voorschriften voor een veroordeling tot en toepassing van de doodstraf.

De beschrijving van de voorwaarden luidt als volgt en ten aanzien van de criteria 3 en 7 staat de professor duidelijk niet erg sterk:

After the defendant is convicted of, or pleads guilty to, a capital crime, the court conducts an additional hearing at which the jury receives additional evidence in aggravation and mitigation. In order for the defendant to be eligible for the death penalty, the jury must find the existence of one of ten aggravating factors:

1] The defendant has previously been convicted of a capital felony or has a history of committing serious felonies. 2] The capital felony was committed while the defendant was committing another capital felony. 3]  The defendant created a grave risk of death to others. 4] The defendant committed the crime for the purpose of receiving money or anything else of value. 5] The defendant killed a judge or prosecutor exercising his official duties. 6] The defendant hired a killer. 7] The crime was “outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible, or inhuman in that it involved torture, depravity of mind, or an aggravated battery to the victim.” 8] The defendant killed a police officer, prison guard, or fireman in the line of duty. 9] The offense was committed by someone who had escaped from prison. 10] The offense was committed for the purpose of avoiding arrest.

Once the jury has found that one or more of these aggravating factors exists beyond a reasonable doubt, then the defendant is eligible for the death penalty. The jury may then evaluate all the evidence it has heard—including mitigating evidence and other aggravating evidence not supporting one of the ten factors beyond a reasonable doubt—and decide whether the defendant should live or die.


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