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Should man convicted of intoxicated murder be put to death?

Maryland still hast the death penalty and anyone who is convicted of a particularly violent crime could find him- or herself sentenced to death, but what about those people who are put on death row for crimes that aren't quite heinous enough to warrant a death sentence?

In this story, there is some question about whether a man who was convicted of murder should be sentenced to death. The man's case is now being considered in order to determine if there are a sufficient number of cases with similar facts that ended in capital punishment to support his death sentence.

In August 2002, the man and his friend had been drinking heavily when they passed out in his apartment. In the early morning hours, the two men awoke and needed to relieve themselves, but the man's friend chose to urinate on his television rather than in the bathroom. While the man was still in the bathroom, the friend went into the bedroom the man shared with his wife and dropped his pants as if he were about to defecate. Based on the two men's actions, it would appear that they were still drunk.

Roused from her sleep, the man's wife asked the friend to leave, to which he replied with a shout and an obscenity. In a moment of rage, the man emerged from the bathroom and struck his friend in the head. Sadly, he continued to hit his friend and eventually shot him in the head, but it appears that he was drunk and provoked throughout the entire incident.

This case is a far cry from some of the horrendous and violent murders that typically land a Maryland resident on death row. The man appeared to have no premeditation, was severely intoxicated and his friend's behavior likely provoked him into action.

What do you think? Do you think that this man should be executed?

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Lawyer wants death sentence tossed," Bill Rankin, April 16, 2012

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Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

Law Offices of James N. Papirmeister, Esq.
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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013