Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Life for Shelton Mills

Today, the jury decided unanimously to return a sentence of life without possibility of parole in the case of State v. Shelton Mills, in Pitt County.

Excerpt from press accounts:

Defense attorney William Gerrans told the jurors that representing Mills was one of the most frustrating experiences of his life and nearly wore him out.

“Then I realized he can't help it,” Gerrans said. “Shelton Mills is mentally retarded, developmentally disabled and severely mentally impaired.”

Gerrans said the death penalty is not a deterrent for criminals like Mills.

“Vengeance will not bring peace to anyone or stop others with mental retardation and developmental disabilities from doing the same thing,” he said. “We only mark our souls when we approve of death.”

Gerrans reminded the jurors that the state and the victims' families offered Mills a sentence of life without parole, which he turned down.

“He was just too sick to take the deal, just like the time he jumped off the back of a moving truck. Now they're asking you to kill him,” Gerrans said.

Mills' attorney asked the jurors to spare Mills' life.

“We're better than what he did that night,” he said.

No comments: