[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----ARKANSAS
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat Oct 11 00:08:35 CDT 2008
Marcyniuk Asks Judge To Toss Death Penalty
A West Fork man charged with killing University of Arkansas student Katie
Wood is asking the judge to declare the death penalty unconstitutional.
Zachariah Scott Marcyniuk, 29, is charged with capital murder and accused
of killing Wood, 24, of Greenbrier, in early March. Wood was a senior
The basis for seeking the death penalty are Marcyniuk's prior felony
conviction involving the use or threat of violence and the especially
cruel and depraved manner in which he killed Wood, according to
Prosecuting Attorney John Threet. A preliminary autopsy indicated Wood
died of multiple stab wounds.
Marcyniuk is also charged with burglary for breaking into Wood's
The motion, filed Friday, to prohibit imposition of the death penalty
contends that if jurors find even one aggravating circumstance, the death
penalty becomes mandatory. The motion argues that makes the death penalty
unconstitutional because it doesn't allow a jury to show mercy.
The motion also says Arkansas law fails to provide a jury with guidance as
to what degree of murder is appropriate, specifically 1st degree versus
capital murder, and can lead to a jury arbitrarily choosing a verdict for
a higher offense than is appropriate.
Trial is set for the week of Dec. 8.
(source: The Morning News)
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