Harrell Johnson was convicted of First Degree Murder in the death of the 3-year old daughter of his wife known as Precious Doe. CNN reports that in exchange for agreeing to allow the trial to take place in Kansas City, the prosecution asked for Life in Prison without the possibility of parole rather than the death penalty.
During closing arguments, prosecutors told jurors a guilty verdict would finally bring justice in a case that brought an outpouring of public grief after a police officer found Erica's naked, headless body in a wooded area of Kansas City in April 2001.
Do you think the guilty verdict will really bring justice to this case? Would the death penalty have accomplished that if they'd sought it?
While high on drugs, according to the mother of the victim, Johnson kicked the little girl. The couple decided not to seek help because they had outstanding warrants and were afraid of being arrested. Michelle Johnson, 33, testified against her husband Tuesday after she pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder in Erica's death.
A pediatric neurosurgeon testified Monday that if the couple had quickly sought medical attention for Erica, doctors probably could have reversed the damage.
On the Rush of Time blog, Jim takes issue with the prosecutor.
On the Pearl's Window site, there's a heartbreaking picture of the little girl, but no opinions that I could see.
What's your opinion? Does the fact that he was high on drugs mitigate the gravity at all? What about that exchange? Is it right for the prosecutor to trade the death penalty for an agreement to keep the case in his own jurisdiction? And, what do you think about the mother? Isn't it a bit severe to charge her with murder when she just failed to get medical help out of fear?