Jury deliberates death sentence for cop killer

    The fate of a 23-year old Philadelphia man is in a jury’s hands. John Lewis has been convicted of first-degree murder in the 2007 murder of Philadelphia police Officer Chuck Cassidy.

    The fate of a 23-year old Philadelphia man is in a jury’s hands. John Lewis has been convicted of first-degree murder in the 2007 murder of Philadelphia police Officer Chuck Cassidy.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091120lfsentence.mp3]

    The jury now must decide whether John Lewis deserves the death penalty.

    Sandra Schultz Newman is a retired Pennsylvania State Supreme Court Justice who now practices law across the region. She says the jury could hear testimony from witnesses, family members and arguments from the lawyers about mitigating and aggravating circumstances.

    Schultz: An aggravator might be the kind of weapon that was used and how painful the murder was, and the mitigators would be: was there some history in their relationship? You can bring in the childhood, to show the person had a tough childhood and they were exposed to child abuse and drugs and everything else.

    If the jury decides the severity of the crime outweighs any mitigating factors, Lewis can be sentenced to death. If not, he will receive a sentence of life in prison.

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