Jury to mull woman's fate: death or life in prison
Jurors will answer a single question at the upcoming death penalty retrial of Angela Johnson: whether she deserves to die for 5 drug-related murders instead of spending the rest of her life in prison.
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett said Wednesday jurors will be instructed that he will impose a prison sentence of life without parole even if one of them doesn't believe the former Iowa woman should be executed.
The ruling is a victory for Johnson's defense, which argued jurors could be persuaded to support her death if they feared she could one day be released from prison.
The June trial will determine the sentence Johnson should receive for the 1993 killings. Bennett threw out a Johnson's original death sentence last year after finding her defense was inadequate.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.