Florida Death Penalty Laws Impact Cases in Pensacola

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In cases in the 1st Circuit where the death penalty was on the table, the state said they will now seek life in prison if it is their only option because of the muddled nature surrounding the death penalty.  One of those cases in Pensacola involves two parents charged with first-degree felony murder of their two-year-old son.  Both parents faced the death penalty Monday morning, now it’s off the table for both.

Christopher Redd and Jennifer Perry were charged with first-degree felony murder after their two-year-old son was not treated for second and third-degree burn wounds on a third of his body for about two weeks.  He later died from those injuries.

Monday morning, both parents were possibly facing the death penalty.  Perry requested a speedy trial, meaning her case had to be decided in 45 days.  She accepted a plea from the state.  She’s agreed to serve life in prison for felony murder with aggravated child abuse.

“It’s obviously an emotional case, given that she lost her child,” said Marci McCoy, Jennifer Perry’s attorney in the case.  “I think that she believed after discussing all of the evidence and the strategies that this was in the best interest of both her and her family.”

The state feels, among other factors, because the Florida Supreme Court doesn’t have a procedure or law concerning the death penalty at this time, this was their best option.

“If we can establish and prove a particular case and establish the facts that warrant the death penalty, we’re certainly going to try and do that,” said John Molchan, Assistant State Attorney.  “However in this situation, based upon the plea and the nature of the case, we felt this was the correct decision to make.”

The state also said they will drop the possibility of capital punishment from Redd’s case.  He is set to appear back in court on April 26th at 9 AM.

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