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Posted: 8/21/2002 6:18:20 AM EDT
[url]http://news.excite.com/odd/article/id/261207|oddlyenough|08-21-2002::08:40|reuters.html[/url] COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - Prosecutors have appealed a ruling by an Ohio judge that an accused murderer should not face the death penalty because such a trial would be too expensive, officials said Monday. Vinton County Judge Jeffrey Simmons decided earlier this month that accused double murderer Gregory McKnight should not face the death penalty because the county could not afford to provide him with an adequate defense at taxpayers' expense. Joe Case, spokesman for Attorney General Betty Montgomery, said Montgomery's office had asked the judge to reconsider his ruling and had filed a motion with a state appeals court to overturn it. "The bottom line is the judge is saying we can put a price tag on justice, which undermines justice," Case said. He said the judge's ruling also removed the possibility of a sentence of life in prison without parole for McKnight, 25, meaning he could one day obtain his freedom even if he is convicted of killing Kenyon College student Emily Murray and Gregory Julious, both 20, Case said. Prosecutors said Simmons overstepped his authority and may not be aware of state resources available to pay trial costs, which could exceed $75,000 in view of the likelihood of defense appeals in case of a conviction. The largely rural county lies in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and is the least-populated in the state. Death penalty opponent Rob Warden, of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, said the McKnight case "shows how arbitrary and capricious the imposition of the death penalty can be." "You commit a crime in a poor county and it's not punishable by death. But if you happen to commit it in a county with resources, it is," Warden said. A hearing in front of Simmons was set for Wednesday. [b]Give us a break Your Honor.[/b]
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 6:25:35 AM EDT
i was thinking about this situation and likened it to athletes whose salaries skyrocket as per skill or popularity. well, lawyers are not athletes nor do they perform for our entertainment. i think lawyers should have a salary cap as well. it seems to me their performance or availability is commensurate to the client's wallet dimensions.
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