Colorado - The Death Penalty Dilemma

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Colorado - The Death Penalty Dilemma

Post  Jennie on Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:50 pm

The Death Penalty Dilemma


DENVER ( - Christine Wolfe said she planned to visit her daughter's grave to tell her, "We did it Vivian. Justice was served."

22-year-old Vivian and her fiancÚ Javad Marshall Fields were murdered three years ago this Friday. The jury earlier convicted 23-year-old Sir Mario Owens and has now sentenced him to death.

Colorado juries, in the past, are reluctant to hand down death sentences. So reluctant- that remember several years ago the law was changed to put the issue before a three judge panel?? Only that had complication.... and Colorado went back to using juries.

DA Carol Chambers noted that in the surveys they hand out to dozens and dozens of prospective jurors... something like 90 to 95 percent indicated they favored the death penalty. She says this verdict proves that Colorado juries will use the death penalty under certain circumstances.

I won't get into my personal thoughts on the death penalty, but I can tell you it is a grueling process. Anguishing for the families, jurors, prosecutors and defense attorneys. Really everyone connected to the case.

I feel for the Wolfe and Fields families because they have to go through it again starting in August, with the trial of co-conspirator Robert Ray. He did not directly pull the trigger, so I have to wonder if it will play out differently. But I can tell you that no one on the prosecution side seems even remotely interested in plea bargains.

A final thought. I have a good friend who is a defense attorney. And she feels that "death qualifying" jurors at the beginning of jury selection for the trial introduces a bias that favors the prosecution. She feels it eliminates potential jurors who might tend to look more favorably toward the defense.

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