Life in prison worse than death sentence for Cecil New, judge says

Interesting case in Kentucky…I guess the death penalty is now reserved for the middle or second to worst offenders…

From Jason Riley at Courier-Journal

“Saying the death penalty was not a harsh enough punishment for kidnapping and murdering a 4-year-old boy, a Jefferson Circuit judge ordered Cecil New II to serve the rest of his life in prison, surrounded by “bigger, meaner men who have nothing to lose.”

Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman sentenced Cecil New II to life in prison without parole. (Kylene Lloyd, The Courier-Journal) December 17, 2010

“He will fear for his life every day,” Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman told the family of 4-year-old Ivan Aguilar-Cano, who disappeared while playing outside his home near Churchill Downs in 2007 and was murdered by New.

“He will wish this court had put him on death row.”

New, a 49-year-old registered sex offender who lived only a few blocks from his victim, looked on dispassionately, saying nothing, as McDonald-Burkman handed down her decision on whether he should live or die.

Death is undoubtedly justified for you,” McDonald-Burkman told him. “There’s not one cell in your body, Cecil New, that can be rehabilitated, not one. But is a death sentence justice?”

Ivan’s family, including his mother, who listened to the sentencing through an interpreter, left through a back hallway afterward but said through a spokesman, activist Christopher 2X, that while they understood the judge’s decision, they felt that “a life for a life should be the appropriate penalty.”

Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman.

Since a November hearing in which prosecutors asked that New be sentenced to death, McDonald-Burkman said she had investigated the differences between the life of a death-row inmate and one serving a life sentence.

On death row, she said, inmates are segregated from other prisoners and can have meals sent to their cell without ever having to be around anyone else, and typically an execution is not scheduled

for at least 20 years. With the life sentence, New will have to congregate with other prisoners and “is never truly isolated.”

The unusually frank language from McDonald-Burkman included scenarios on how New’s life would play out in living in prison, without the possibility for parole.

“Death is easy,” she said. “Living outside of death row, in general population, in fear of prison justice every day is a hell more suited to you, Mr. New, than living under the protective guise of death row.”

Full article here: Life in prison worse than death sentence for Cecil New, Judge says

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One Response to Life in prison worse than death sentence for Cecil New, judge says

  1. Monika Wengler says:

    This is disgusting.

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