Richardson conviction reignites death penalty debate
Posted March 25
Raleigh, N.C. — Jonathan Richardson’s conviction Tuesday of sexually and physically abusing and then killing his ex-girlfriend’s four-year-old daughter has reignited the debate whether to institute the death penalty in North Carolina.
A set of legal challenges have led to a de facto moratorium on the death penalty. About 150 people are currently on death row in North Carolina. The state’s last execution was in 2006.
Ken Rose, who represents about a third of those on death row, understands those who support the death penalty after a case like Richardson’s, where graphic details were presented and seasoned law enforcement officers were brought to tears.
“It's a different thing, however, to say that the state, after years and years of appeals, when we have someone incapacitated in prison, that we should kill that person and we should spend a lot of money extra to do it,” he said.
Wayne Uber, whose brother was killed in another state in 1995, supports the death penalty.
“Each and every murder case should be tried individually on its own merits using evidence, testimony, logic and fact that are directly related to the case,” he said.
As for the Richardson case, Uber hopes to see one thing.
“I just want to encourage the jury to carefully consider what the family of the victim wants,” he said.
The sentencing phase in Richardson’s case starts Wednesday.