No. 15: Death-penalty trial of Lee Edward Stephens

Six years after a grisly killing at the now-closed Maryland House of Correction, Lee Edward Stephens was found guilty in the murder of corrections officer David McGuinn in 2006. The case was the second trial to take place under a new, more restrictive death penalty law -- and the first in which a jury determined that DNA linked the defendant to the killing.<br>
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But Stephens' jury did not believe he should be put to death. Instead, <a href="http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-02-29/news/bs-md-ar-stephens-sentence-verdict-20120229_1_lee-edward-stephens-death-penalty-capital-punishment" target="_blank">he'll get another life sentence, this time without the possibility of parole</a>. <br><br>

Death penalty opponents said the outcome of the trial reflected public sentiment about executions, while supporters were pleased that the state put the option on the table. <br><br>

McGuinn's killing had been among several violent incidents that led to the shutdown of the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup. Gov. Martin O'Malley is <a href="http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-11-28/news/bs-md-naacp-death-20121128_1_penalty-repeal-bill-maryland-s-death-row-repeal-proponents" target="_blank">being asked by the NAACP</a> and Baltimore¿s archbishop to again push for a repeal of the death penalty in the upcoming session.

( Barbara Haddock Taylor / February 2, 2012 )

Six years after a grisly killing at the now-closed Maryland House of Correction, Lee Edward Stephens was found guilty in the murder of corrections officer David McGuinn in 2006. The case was the second trial to take place under a new, more restrictive death penalty law -- and the first in which a jury determined that DNA linked the defendant to the killing.

But Stephens' jury did not believe he should be put to death. Instead, he'll get another life sentence, this time without the possibility of parole.

Death penalty opponents said the outcome of the trial reflected public sentiment about executions, while supporters were pleased that the state put the option on the table.

McGuinn's killing had been among several violent incidents that led to the shutdown of the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup. Gov. Martin O'Malley is being asked by the NAACP and Baltimore┬┐s archbishop to again push for a repeal of the death penalty in the upcoming session.

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