Sunday, May 31, 2009

Robert Fratta Sentenced to Death - Again

The Houston News reports on the conclusion of the penalty phase of the trial of Robert Fratta.

A jury returned a verdict of death Saturday in the Robert Fratta penalty phase.

Robert Fratta, 52, was convicted of capital murder on May 15. He hired two men from his gym, Howard Guidry and Joseph Prystash, to kill his wife, Farah Fratta, in her garage on Nov. 9, 1994.

He spent a dozen years on death row after being convicted in his first trial.

The jury had to determine if he should go back to death row or if he should spend the rest of his life in prison.

Thanks to an anonymous comment left on my post entitled Robert Fratta Guilty Again, I was alerted to this story. I appreciate that commenter's input, not only because he or she seems to be close to the action and in the know, but because otherwise this story could easily have gone unnoticed. As far as I know, it only made the local news, which to me indicates this is just business as usual down in Texas.

In the first trial, Fratta was convicted and sentenced to death largely due to the confession of one of the hired assassins, who testified in that trial.

Guidry confessed to his role and his confession was a key piece of evidence in Robert Fratta's first trial, but that conviction was thrown out after an appeals court ruled last year that Guidry's claim should not have been admitted.

Guidry and Prystash are on death row. They both refused to testify in Fratta's retrial.

In the new trial, neither Guidry nor Prystash testified, yet the end result was the same. Although the jurors naturally claim to be unbiased, I wonder if they didn't suffer from the same pre-conceived opinion as our commenter: "Everyone who ever knew this scumbag knows he did it."

What's your opinion? Do you think guys like Fratta are a continuing threat to society even behind bars? Do you think if that's true, it's justified to kill them? Doesn't it bother you that by doing that we're treating human beings like animals which are expendable at our convenience?

There's an idea, do you think there are any vegetarian proponents of capital punishment? That must be a rare breed, huh?

Please feel free to leave a comment.

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