Make first degree murder of a child an aggravating factor for capital punishment in OKLA
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In July of 2016, my 18 month old son, Lincoln, passed away. He suffered a blow to the head and was unconscious immediately. He never regained consciousness and passed away two days later. The person who committed this crime planned it out, knew when to strike, and tried to cover it up. Which is why he is facing a first degree murder charge and has been bound over for trial. Surprisingly, he is not eligible for the death penalty though. Disgusting right? I, like most people, have always thought there was some correlation between first degree murder (especially child murder) and capital punishment. That, in fact, isn’t true. Every state that supports the death penalty, has aggravating factors. The crime must meet at least one of these factors before the death penalty may be imposed . 18 out of the 31 states that support capital punishment have a lone factor regarding child murder. They flat out do not stand for it! However, Oklahoma is not one of those (please see below). This unacceptable! How is it that engaging in drug trafficking in Missouri is a factor, but murdering an Oklahoma child is not? You mean to tell me that if someone shoots two child molesters (see number 2), they're eligible... but methodically planning the murder of a baby, they're not. Please help me change this and protect our children! It's too late for Lincoln, but maybe it will save another child. If you have children PLEASE educate yourself on this.
*When you come to number four, you'll think that fits the crime. Unfortunately, it does not (I'll add an explanation hyperlink below).
1) The defendant was previously convicted of a felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person;
2) The defendant knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person;
3) The person committed the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration or employed another to commit the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration;
4) The murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel;
5) The murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest or prosecution;
6) The murder was committed by a person while serving a sentence of imprisonment on conviction of a felony;
7) The existence of a probability that the defendant would commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society;
8) The victim of the murder was a peace officer, or correctional employee of an institution under the control of the Department of Corrections, and such person was killed while in performance of official duty.
**Similarly, an "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel" aggravating circumstance was held to be unconstitutionally vague. The "especially heinous, cruel or depraved" standard is cured, however, by a narrowing interpretation requiring a finding of infliction of mental anguish or physical abuse before the victim's death. Basically, the crime doesn't meet number four because Lincoln was unconscious immediately, so he couldn't physically feel pain, and he wasn't old enough to comprehend the fact that he was about to be murdered.
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