Should Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty For Convicted Killer Steven James...Again?

jamesdeathrow.jpg
Arizona Department of Corrections
Steven James
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday tossed out the death sentence of convicted murderer Steven James, who was sentenced to die for the brutal 1981 murder of a man he targeted for being gay.

The reason: the Court feels James had ineffective counsel during the sentencing phase of his trial.

See our story on James -- and the Court's written opinion -- here.

In the Court's written opinion, Judge William A. Fletcher wrote the following: 

"We conclude that counsel's complete failure to investigate and present mitigating evidenceof James' troubled childhood, his mental illness, and his history of chronic drug abuse constituted deficient performance," Fletcher writes in the opinion. "We further conclude that this failure prejudiced James because it prevented the sentencing judge from learning that James had 'the kind of troubled history we have declared relevant to assessing a defendant's moral culpability."

Fletcher goes on to point out James' particularly rough childhood, which included exposure to violence and beatings by his adoptive parents.

In its ruling, th court ordered the U.S. District Court of Arizona to give prosecutors time to retry James if they again wish to seek the death penalty. If prosecutors opt to not seek the death penalty, James will automatically be sentenced to life in prison.

We want to know what you think: should prosecutors seek the death penalty for James...again?

Cast your vote below.


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12 comments
Hatton73
Hatton73

He did not do it! Hope he gets FREE SOON!

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

It's time to end the death penalty -- pre-meditated murder by the state -- barbaric and not fitting for a civilized nation. No man should determine who lives and who dies, especially those who "control" Arizona, playing God with peoples' lives on a daily basis. 

Arizona Supreme Court -Presiding Disciplinary Judge > Video Pagehttp://www.azcourts.gov/pd...

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Thomas/Aubuchon/Alexander hearing on abuse of power and possible disbarment. Arizona Supreme Court -Presiding Disciplinary Judge > Video 

http://www.azcourts.gov/pdj/Vi...

Concerned Citizen and Taxpayer
Concerned Citizen and Taxpayer

End the death penalty and take the "power" and control away from the Governor, AG and DA's/prosecutors. Save the taxpayers hundreds of millions of $$'s. Life in an Arizona prison is true punishment while saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of $$'s that could be used to for education, health care and building better communities.

Chris
Chris

First off Elanor, You need to know the true facts before you just say shoot him, First this was not a hate crime and second maya was a child molestor who raped norton, Steven was raped by his own biological family,  Steven has changed his life around and gaven to the lord, He deserves a second chance, I know this because steven was my stepfather at one time. Please read up on the facts before just saying shoot him, Everyone should know that media always dont get everything right just like they are saying hes been in for nearly 20years be been in almost 30years on death row

Eleanor
Eleanor

I didn't say just shoot him.  I was being flippant about another comment I made and took shit for that. 

If you really think that what this guy has done to change his life makes up for his part in this I think you are wrong.  When you molest, injure, kill or hurt somebody you can't just making it all better by changing your life. 

As as taxpayer I find it appaling that I am paying for this three ring circus.  So no don't just shoot him, retry him or whatever but in the meantime take him out off of death row and put him in with the general  population.

So you are saying that we have paid several more millions than what Mr King is stating? That is even more reason to put him in the general population.

Mr. King....is there anyway to verify this?

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

You know Eleanor, I don't thnk I've heard a more ignorant comment from such a big mouth as you in a long time.   It's too bad you took shit for something you said on this forum.   That's practically unheard of.    I hope you recover from that shit you took so you can take some more like we all do here.    By the way, you're tax dollars don't pay for anything except for the money the federal reserve prints along with the interest they charge.   But, you think what you want.

Phoenix Justice
Phoenix Justice

This one of the issues I have with the application of the death penalty: Mitigating Factors.  The sentencing phase should strictly rely on the facts presented at trial.  I did vote no, not because I am against the death penalty, which I am not, I am just against more tax payer money being spent to get the same basic results: Life in prison.

http://phoenixjustice.blogspot...

ZachHenry
ZachHenry

Well, then you should also have an issue with another thing: aggravating factors.  Is killing someone because of their race or sexual orientation more deserving of death than killing someone for their gold watch?  I don't think so.  I don't think the motive for murdering somebody is ultimately knowable or relevant during sentencing.

Eleanor
Eleanor

Haven't we taxpayers wasted enough millions on this guy?  That is more than enough.  I'd say just shoot him but I would hear all sorts of stupid comments about my lack of "whatever they come up with". 

He has lived with more dollars thrown his way than most of us ever will.

Set him out in the general prison population and stop coddling him.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Good post, Eleanor. I think if he's released to general population he will make new friends and live out his life happily ever after...

Eleanor
Eleanor

New boyfriends and he won't have to have sex with only himself. 

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