October 28, 2004

First Idaho DP jury votes for death

Well, they did it. The first jury in Idaho to be given the power of life or death has chosen death. A Boise jury has given Erick Virgil Hall the death penalty for raping and murdering flight attendant Lynn Henneman four years ago.

The jury was the first in Idaho to decide whether a convicted murderer should be executed. Until Ring, Idaho judges decided the sentence in capital murder cases. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that juries must determine aggravating factors in a case to justify execution, the Idaho Legislature simply turned over the sentencing decision in capital cases to the jury entirely. Many of my colleagues fear that Idaho will see the death penalty imposed more often as a result.

6 Comments:

phil said...

Frightening. Didn't know that judges had been taken out of the loop on death sentence determinations. Life and death decisions beg for judicial oversight.

Skelly said...

It's still automatic (and mandatory) that all Idaho death sentences are reviewed through the state appeals process.

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