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Prosecutors to Seek Life Sentence Instead of Death Penalty


Sentencing for Alex Murdaugh, the scion of a South Carolina legal dynasty who was convicted on Thursday of murdering his wife and son, is expected to be decided on Friday.

After the jurors returned their verdict, Judge Clifton Newman said the court would reconvene at 9:30 a.m. Friday for a sentencing hearing. Mr. Murdaugh faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in prison for the murder charges and a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Prosecutors have previously said they would seek life in prison without the possibility of parole, not the death penalty.

At the sentencing hearing, people who wish to speak about the damage caused by Mr Murdaugh or in favor of showing him clemency will be given the opportunity to do so. Judge Newman said Thursday he would not begin this phase of the trial until Friday, in part because of “what I anticipate will be a number of people who may have something to say.”

In South Carolina, prosecutors can seek the death penalty in murder cases, but the state attorney general’s office said in December that “after carefully reviewing this case and all of the surrounding facts, we have decided to seek life without parole for Alex Murdaugh. ”

Mr Murdaugh’s legal team welcomed the decision by prosecutors at the time.

The Death Penalty Information Center reports that there have been no executions in the state since 2011. South Carolina said obtaining lethal injection drugs was too difficult. In January, the state Supreme Court ordered the state government to provide information about how he tried to obtain the drugs, as part of a lawsuit against his methods of execution.

nytimes Gt

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