[Deathpenalty]death penalty news------FLORIDA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Jan 24 23:24:13 CST 2006
Boatman Could Face Death Penalty Of His Own
On the same night that another man was executed on death row, a
19-year-old accused murder is just beginning the long legal process that
could lead to his own death penalty sentence.
Leo Lancing Boatman is accused of killing 2 Santa Fe Community College
students, Amber Peck and John Parker, in the Ocala National Forest on
If the 19-year-old is convicted of first degree murder charges, he would
be eligible for the death penalty. But prosecutors haven't announced yet
if they will seek it.
The prosecutor from the State Attorney's Office who is handling the case
says he can not get into the specifics, but said they will make an
He says they are still looking at Boatman's previous criminal record and
mental health history.
Another deciding factor will be if prosecutors think a death penalty
sentence would be upheld by an appellate court.
For now, Boatman is in the Marion County Jail awaiting an appearance
before a grand jury on Friday morning.
Death Penalty Debate
The debate over the death penalty in America is one that has spanned
decades. Those against it argue it is inhumane and a poor deterrent to
crime. But, families who have lost loved ones say it is an entirely
different debate when it is your child or parent or sibling that has been
Ann Garren holds tight a picture of her daughter Christa Hoyt who was
killed during the Gainesville Student Murders in August of 1990. Garren
eagerly awaits the day her daughter's killer Danny Rolling will be
"I guess it's harsh, but what about the ones that died. They're death was
harsh. I mean all 5 of ours were brutal. My daughter was even more so
brutal than the others, and she didn't deserve that," says Garren.
Garren says she reflects more on days when someone is executed.
"My heart goes out to the family of the victim because they left somebody
behind, a wife, a father, a mother, a child. Somebody is left behind and
they're the ones that suffer," she adds.
Garren feels the death penalty fits the crime for Rolling as well as the
bulk of all other 1st degree murder cases.
She explains "Because most of them are out of malice. They're not because
they were an accident. I mean they went there to do this."
John Johnson who is the president of ACLU's North Central Florida Chapter
counters, "I do not want to in any way diminish her grief because I
understand it. But, in one sense it is a vengeance issue and I don't think
the government should be in the vengeance mode. It should be in the
Several groups from the ACLU to the Catholic church are strongly against
the death penalty and claim it is given out unfairly.
Johnson feels it boils down to, "How good an attorney you can afford, just
the fact that whatever your class is juries react to that. So its not
applied fairly and equitably."
Garren says nothing about her daughter's murder was fair either.
"Nobody wants the wrong person executed that didn't do the crime. If they
can prove he did it and they know he did it see you."
(source for both: WCJB News)
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