CNN reports today on the guilty verdict of the so-called child actor who killed two people on their luxury yacht. We discussed this case before, here, when the prosecution announced that it would seek the death penalty.
An Orange County jury found Skylar Deleon, 29, guilty of three counts of first-degree murder and special circumstances for financial gain and multiple victims.
Deleon's attorney had conceded to the jury from the outset that Deleon was guilty but should not be put to death. The penalty phase of the trial will begin Wednesday.
The defense plans to avoid the death penalty by producing witnesses that will describe the horrible abuse young Deleon suffered growing up. Although, I personally feel that childhood abuse is grounds for mitigation, and the law allows it to be considered, I don't hold out much hope. I feel that violent people who are so damaged by childhood abuse that they act like this, should be considered mentally ill. What else could you call it? Executing mentally ill people for expedience or for revenge is not what an enlightened society should be doing in my opinion.
What's your opinion? Is childhood abuse ever an excuse for behaviour like this?