Thursday, March 23, 2006

Allentown jury opts for life over death

Yet again, a Pennsylvania jury has chosen life in a capital murder trial.
An Allentown man convicted of killing a man who was sitting in a city diner with his girlfriend was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without parole.

A Lehigh County jury deliberated about 20 minutes before rejecting the other possible sentence — the death penalty — for Nicholas Hudson, who was convicted Monday of first-degree murder in the 2001 death of 22-year-old Daniel Cruz of Allentown.

Morning Call: Allentown man gets life sentence for diner slaying

This case reinforces several points we abolitionists have been making. First, the public is losing its taste for death.

The second point has to do with race. Whites are the victims of murder about 50% of the time, but when the death penalty is given, the victim is white more than 80% of the time. I don't know Mr. Cruz's race for certain, but I can guess that Daniel Cruz, son of Javier Cruz, boyfriend of Joeli Maldonado, was probably latino. Apparently, Cruz wasn't white enough for Hudson to get the death sentence.

Regardless, the victim's family and friends said it best at the end.
After the sentence was announced, (Maldonado) hugged (Chief Deputy DA Matthew) Weintraub and wiped her eyes. "I'm just glad it's over," she said...

"I will never get my son back, but I will live with that and knowing he [Hudson] will never hurt anyone again in the community," Javier Cruz said. "Everything is said and done. Even though he didn't get the death penalty, justice was done. It was delayed, but it was done."

Wisdom, clarity, and justice prevail yet again in Pennsylvania.


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