Last week, a Forsyth County Jury sentenced Juan Rodriguez to death in the killing and decapitation of his wife. The jury took a little over 2 hours to impose the sentence and rejected all proposed mitigating factors in the case.
There were many reasons to doubt in Mr. Rodriguez' case. A medical examiner placed the time of death in the case after Mr. Rodriguez had already been arrested. Mr. Rodriguez had a well documented history of mental retardation -- and an IQ of 61, which should have made him ineligible for death. The jury rejected this evidence. The jury then rejected strong mitigation evidence of Mr. Rodriguez's low intellectual functioning, his post-traumatic stress from growing up in war torn El Savador in unbelieveable poverty.
Notably, the victim's family opposed the death penalty--opposition which was ignored by the Forsyth District Attorney.