Death penalty a form of punishment in Alabama and 32 other states

Last week, we wrote about two Alabama men who were recently charged with capital murder. Authorities claim the men killed a man last July by beating him to death and then throwing his body in the Warrior River. If convicted, the two could be sentenced to death.

A man in another state was recently executed. The 50-year-old man was convicted of shooting a man to death and raping his fiancé while two others stole items from the couple's home in 1990.

Up until his death, the man admitted that he committed rape but maintained that he did not kill the rape victim's fiancé. The 50-year-old said the two people who were with him during the home invasion were responsible for the murder.

In 1996, the man's death sentence was reversed after it was discovered that jurors had been given poor instructions. However, he was once again sentenced to death in 1997 during a punishment trial.

The man's attorneys did not file appeals in the weeks and days leading up to his execution. However, earlier appeals questioned whether the man was mentally incompetent and therefore ineligible for the death penalty. However, those appeals were denied.

The death penalty has been outlawed in some states. However, it remains a form of punishment in Alabama and in Texas where the man in this story was recently executed. The death penalty may be handed down in violent homicide cases in which the convicted person appears to lack remorse.

Working with an experienced legal professional is usually a wise choice when someone faces criminal charges of any kind. However, in capital murder cases, an experienced criminal defense attorney may prove to be even more valuable.

Source: WVTM-TV, "Texas executes man for 1990 fatal shooting, rape," Michael Graczyk, April 9, 2013

· Our firm handles capital murder cases. To learn more, please visit our Birmingham criminal defense page.

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