Friday, March 6, 2009

Florida Turnpike Killers Guilty

The Miami Herald reports on the four guilty verdicts which came down in the so-called Florida Turnpike Slayings Case.
The case of the brutal murders of a young family along Florida's Turnpike in St. Lucie County in 2006 ended Thursday with a federal jury's guilty verdicts against two men charged in the killings and two others who were part of the drug gang that led to the murders.

It took four days for the 12-member jury to convict Ricardo ''Rick'' Sanchez and Daniel ''Homer'' Troya, both 25, of conspiracy to commit carjacking and four counts each of armed carjacking resulting in the deaths of Jose Luis Escobedo, 28, his wife, Yessica, 25, and their 4- and 3-year-old sons Luis Julian and Luis Damian.

How's that for brutal? They even killed the children. Do you think this was on purpose to send the clearest message possible? Were Sanchez and Troya following orders? Or was it their idea in the process of executing the parents to also kill the kids? Or, does it not matter one way or the other?

Last time we talked about this one, I said this crime comes about as close as one can to meriting the death penalty. What do you think about the different levels of culpability that can be assigned to murders? At one end of the spectrum you've got your drunk driver who accidentally kills someone. Next comes the drug addict who's dying for a fix and kills someone during a break in. After that I would say comes your typical wife-beater who goes too far. On the other end of the spectrum you've got your mafia hit man or the hired drug killer. But, where do we place their bosses? Wouldn't the drug overlord or the mafia don who orders hits be even more culpable than those who carry out those orders?

What's your opinion? Do you think they're all equally guilty, murder is murder?

What do you predict in this case? Will Sanchez and Troya spend the next twenty years on death row and eventually be injected?

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