Local News

Mays Waits for Jury's Life or Death Decision

Posted September 13, 1998

— A jury is deciding whether Kawame Mays should spend the rest of his life in prison or die for his crime. Mays was found guilty last week of murdering Raleigh police detective Paul Hale last year.

The jury deliberated most of the day. They have four aggravating factors to consider and 21 mitigating factors. If the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating ones, they must vote for the death penalty.

Late Monday afternoon, the jury asked the judge if life without parole really means life without parole. The judge told them that the Supreme Court has told him that it does mean life without parole.

Jurors are deciding whether to recommend the death penalty or life in prison for Mays.

With jurors out of the room Monday morning, Judge Donald Stephens, for the first time ever in a capital case, allowed Hale's mother to take the stand.

Patricia Hale made an emotional presentation. She talked about her son growing up, that he was a good student, a good athlete and later on in life was a good husband and father and a dedicated police officer.

Although the jurors will not hear her remarks, the comments will become part of the official record of the trial. Should there be an appeal, the court will be able to review her remarks.

Last week, Mays' adoptive mother told the jury that her son suffers from emotional problems, and has a learning disability.

The jury is weighing four aggravating factors, which would lead them towards voting the death penalty, and 21 mitigating factors, which would move them towards life in prison in regard to the murder. To vote the death penalty, jurors must agree on at least one aggravating factor and that point must outweigh all the mitigating factors.

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