Beldar has a typically thoughtful post on the Malvo verdict. However, this time I must disagree with him. Beldar says that the decision of the jury in Virginia to spare Malvo from the death penalty should be respected by prosecutors in other jurisdictions. But I see no reason why other juries’ hands should be tied by the actions of one jury — a jury that (as Beldar notes) had before it only one murder.
I have spent more time with family than I have reading the news in recent days, so I haven’t read any press accounts containing the jurors’ explanations of why they spared Malvo. However, it seems inescapably true that a jury might easily come to a different conclusion on the penalty if it had found him guilty of several murders instead of just one. Why isn’t that single point alone enough to retry him and seek death?
UPDATE: The title of this post seems all the more appropriate now that I have read a quote from one of the jurors explaining why she rejected death for Malvo: “he wanted to die for his cause and his cause was Allah.” This is the jury that Beldar wants to tie the hands of every other potential jury in the country who could try this mass murderer? (Thanks to the Ranting Profs for the quote.)