In officer's killing, a death penalty case is a waste of taxpayer dollars

January 15, 2012

It's pointless to waste of taxpayer dollars on a death-penalty case in which the defendant is already serving a sentence of life-plus-15 years for murder.

Regarding your article about the trial of a prisoner accused of killing a corrections officer, I doubt the jury can be impartial toward a defendant who has already been convicted of murder ("Trial opens in prison officer's killing," Jan. 12).

Just because the prosecutor has DNA evidence, one of the requirements for seeking the death penalty under the change in state law passed in 2009, doesn't mean the death penalty should be sought. The prosecutor also intends to present eyewitness testimonies from prisoners.

But how reliable are prisoners as witnesses? Perhaps they only agreed to testify in order to lessen their own sentences. Unreliable eyewitness testimony has put innocent men on death row.

The prosecutors shouldn't have to rely on eyewitness testimony anyway, since the incident occurred at a corrections facility where footage of the incident could easily have been captured on video.

Justice must be done in the murder of Officer David McGuinn. But it seems like a waste of taxpayer dollars to be spend them on appeals of a death-penalty case in which the defendant is already serving a sentence of life-plus-15 years for murder.

Eden Etzel, Severna Park

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