JUSTICE FOR JESSIE
Of course, the big news in this part of Florida this morning is the guilty verdect handed down in Miami Wednesday against John Evander Couey for the abduction, rape, and murder of nine year old Jessica Marie Lunsford. The trial was moved from Citrus County where the crime was committed because of the publicity and imability to find enough folks to seat an impartial jury pool.
Even with the main confession disallowed (it was made after he had requested an attorney), the evidence was overwhelming against the convicted sex offender, so it was a bit surprising that the jury needed four hours to reach it's verdict.
Now that the guilt-or-innocence part of the trial is completed, what will be clearly the more emotional part, the penalty phase, will begin Tuesday. The only way that defense attorneys apparantly feel they can keep Couey from receiving the death penalty is to prove the defendent is mentally retarded. Couey's doodling and drawing in court with coloured pencils is very likely part of that scheme.
I have had mixed emotions about the death penalty for a number of years, and believe that it should be saved for only the most henious of crimes. This would definately be one of them, but instead of the three-drug cocktail at Starke I would simply put him in a room with Mark Lunsford, Jessie's father, for 15 minutes.
May God Almighty have mercy on his soul.