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October 23, 2006

A sad (and telling?) capital tale

The AP here reports on a South Carolina defendant's recent plea to receive a life sentence for a crime committed 22 years ago.  As the article explains, the defendant had previously been sentenced to death three times for a killing during a robbery, but that sentence had been overturned three times.  Here is the sad and telling conclusion to the story:

Patterson never denied shooting [the victim, Matthew] Brooks, but he claimed it was an accident, that the gun went off while he was beating Brooks.  [Defense Attorney John] Delgado said Patterson's case did not warrant the death penalty. "Raymond's case is the epitome of the irrationality of our capital procedure in South Carolina," Delgado said.  "This matter could have been resolved long ago with the savings of innumerable hours and time and cost to the system if the prosecution had allowed a life sentence in 1985." The Brooks family wanted Patterson to die for taking Matthew Brooks' life, but had no idea it would take three trials and more than 20 years to be done with the case.

More background on the case and the persons involved are in this article from the Charlotte Observer.

October 23, 2006 at 07:30 AM | Permalink


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Delgado's comments are the apotheosis of defense attorney spin. I suppose that a death occasioned by a robbery is not death-eligible, and that we're supposed to take the word of a felon. Congrats, Delgado, you won--spare us the BS.

Posted by: sobrien | Oct 23, 2006 1:53:06 PM

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