The verdict, reached after four-and-a-half hours of deliberation, is Muhammad's second conviction in the case. He has already been convicted in Virginia, where he is awaiting execution. - Washington Post
Maryland's State Attorney Douglas Gansler was talking tough in 2002 in an attempt to prosecute the DC snipers first.
Federal officials didn't believe it and this trial did nothing but prove that they were right in sending the snipers to VA first. There is this bright point in the story:
Maryland prosecutors say they will bring six counts of first-degree murder against the two Washington sniper suspects. State's Attorney Douglas Gansler says they will seek the death penalty against army veteran John Allen Muhammad.
He indicated prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against his 17-year-old alleged accomplice, John Lee Malvo, but do plan to try him as an adult. Mr Gansler said: "We don't feel the death penalty is appropriate for juveniles." -
He is expected to be sentenced in Maryland in coming weeks but to return to Virginia shortly thereafter, where most of his appeals have been exhausted. - Washington Post
On a more disturbing note, State Attorney Douglas Gansler has decided to run for Maryland Attorney General. As the election nears, keep in mind the following:
(following extracted from my March post on this subject)
Mr. Gansler did not push for the death penalty for the snipers:
What happened? Why the change?
Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad when he goes on trial in May, the Montgomery County state's attorney said Thursday.
Douglas Gansler filed notice last month with the county's Circuit Court that he would seek life without possibility of parole if Muhammad is convicted of the six murders in the county in 2002.
Idiotic excuse Number One:
In an interview, Gansler said "underlying the entire decision was the fact that Muhammad has received a death sentence in Virginia."
Idiotic excuse Number Two:
"We also had to look at the law and facts and given that in Maryland, seeking of the death penalty almost always sets up a system of false promises to victim's families," Gansler said, pointing out that only five men have been executed in Maryland since 1978.
He discussed what he called 'legal hurdles' in Maryland, where the law requires prosecutors "to show beyond reasonable doubt the person was the triggerman," and show that two or more people were killed in a single incident.
"Given space and time and distance, the multiple murders would not satisfy legal definition of single incident," Gansler said.
Not for anything but ANYBODY can be smart enough to argue that any multiple murder incident is actually multiple single murders. As for meeting the definition of a single incident, he could have made a convincing case based on the following facts:
- They made one attack a day.
- Their first day's attack resulted in multiple deaths in a couple of hours.
- There was only one ransom demand. (Not one for each state.)
Sounds pretty convincing to me.
Idiotic excuse Number Three:
The state's attorney's office also considered the potential cost to Maryland taxpayers of seeking the death penalty for Muhammad, saying it would have created "an opportunity for public defenders in the case to spend a great deal of money and time on experts in the death penalty phase."
Idiotic excuse Number Four:
We also had a legal obligation to ensure that in the event the conviction in Virginia is overturned that the people responsible (for the killings) are not set free onto streets of Maryland.
Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas Gansler called Muhammad's defense "a performance."
"It is somewhat absurd what he was saying," Gansler said of Muhammad's conspiracy theory. "He had no defense." - Ledger-Enquirer
Maryland Backs Away from Death Penalty for Sniper - 06 March 2006