There is a federal death penalty, just like there is the option of capital punishment in the majority of states, and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh comes to mind as a well-recognized example of the federal death penalty statute in action. (McVeigh’s 2001 execution was the first exercise of federal capital punishment since 1963.)
However, this week was the first time since federal capital punishment was authorized once again by Congress, over twenty years ago, that a Florida jury actually voted to put someone to death as punishment for their crime.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Turnpike Killings.
On March 31, 2009, defendants Daniel Troya and Ricardo Sanchez, Jr. stood to hear an unanimous jury verdict that condemned the two men to death for the killing of Luis Julian Escobedo, 4, and Luis Damian Escobedo, 3, back in October 2006, while voting that the two defendants should receive life sentences for the killings of Luis and Yessica Escobedo. The jury deliberated almost four days before returning with their decision.
Of course, this is a drug-related crime. The Escobedo couple was involved with a drug cartel run by Daniel Varela, who has been sentenced to life in prison on drug trafficking charges, and it is undisputed that the deaths were related to the distribution and sale of cocaine in South Florida.
This is far from over.
Continue Reading Jury Votes Federal Death Penalty for Florida Turnpike Killings