SALEM — One of two Oregon State Penitentiary inmates charged with aggravated murder in the killing of another inmate no longer faces the death penalty after experts found that he is mentally retarded.
The inmate, James Demetri Davenport, pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The 32-year-old Davenport already is serving a life sentence for a previous murder.
Prosecutors said they dropped plans to seek the death penalty against Davenport after his mental disability was confirmed by separate evaluations performed by experts hired by defense lawyers and the prosecution.
But prosecutors said they still plan to seek the death penalty for Davenport’s co-defendant, Isacc Creed Agee, in the February 2008 beating death of 36-year-old Antonio Barrantes-Vasquez.
Do you think this decision is tantamount to going soft on criminals? Should people capable of killing others get a pass because of low intelligence? Does this defeat one of the main benefits of the death penalty, that of ensuring that offenders don't repeat their offenses?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.