Rapist had a "bad childhood"

He raped and killed 11 women, but the jury spared him the death penalty. Why? Because:

Defense lawyers argued against the death penalty and testimony centered on how Crawford was allegedly abused by family as a child....

The two holdout jurors declined to speak to reporters afterward, and their fellow jury members refused to identify them. But juror James Aldworth, 50, said the woman held out due to religious convictions, and the man based his decision on his belief that Crawford must have suffered horrible abuse in order to commit such crimes.

Wait. Religious convictions? Against the death penalty? Maybe so, but shouldn't this juror have been excluded on that basis. How can you put someone on a jury in a capital punishment case who objects to the death penalty? 

And this thing about having suffered "horrible abuse," does this mean that it's an excuse for what he did? By the way, here is what he did:

Crawford terrorized the New City neighborhood for much of the 1990s. Prosecutors said he preyed on drug-addicted women who agreed to trade sex for narcotics and led them to abandoned buildings where he would strangle, beat or stab them, then rape them as they lay dying. 

I'm against the death penalty, but this? Really.....


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  • In that it takes a unanimous vote to sentence someone to death, I doubt that it will happen in Cook County in the conceivable future.

    In fact, I'm sure that the mess with the Brian Dugan verdict that was not a verdict will lead to lengthy appeals, and if Dugan's time ever comes, newspaper articles will say that the sentencing was unfair (if there are still newspapers by that time).

    What might eventually happen is that the death penalty gets thrown out on the ground that even under a statute meeting Supreme Court standards, its application is happenstance, discriminating against convicts in small counties.

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