A Volusia County jury has unanimously recommended the death penalty for prisoner Enoch Hall, who was convicted last week of murdering a state corrections officer.
The jury made its recommendation about 7:30 p.m. Thursday after 2 1/2 hours of deliberation, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office said.
Hall -- who told officers shortly after the murder that he "freaked out" and "killed her" -- was convicted last week of first-degree murder. He stabbed Donna Fitzgerald 22 times on June 25, 2008.
Prosecutors said the death penalty is an appropriate punishment because of the severity of the crime. Hall, 40, was serving two life sentences for the sexual battery and kidnapping of a 66-year-old woman near Pensacola when he attacked Fitzgerald, 50, who was unarmed, with a shank made of sheet metal.
I'm opposed to the death penalty on principle, but I admit this type of crime brings up a difficult dilemma. How do you punish someone already serving life in prison?
One thing that occurred to me reading the story, at the risk of sounding like I'm blaming the victim, or blaming the system instead of the murderer, is, isn't this a failure on the part of the prison to adequately protect its guards? I know it must be difficult to do, but shouldn't the prison take better precautions with men who have histories of violence? The State of Florida agreed with that.
Because of the murder, three employees were demoted and a new warden was assigned to the prison. Inmates also no longer have unsupervised access to sheet metal and other potential dangers such as welding tools and chemicals.
What's your opinion? Is this the type of crime that even opponents of the death penalty should consider allowing it? What's your opinion?
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