Child killer Brian Dugan was sentenced to death Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean the state is going to execute him any time soon.
Set aside the fact that experts estimate Dugan’s appeal process to last for up to six years. Illinois currently has a moratorium on executions that has been in place since 2000.
Ronald Safer, who wasn’t involved in the Dugan case, but has successfully prosecuted a capital case in Illinois, doesn’t expect the moratorium to be lifted any time soon, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The fact that Illinois has a moratorium on executions didn’t make the decision to sentence Dugan to the mortal fate any easier on jurors.
After attorneys for both sides completed their closing arguments, jurors began deliberating the killer’s fate. Initially they were split 8 to 4 in favor of sending Dugan to death row.
Nearly five hours later the jury sent word to judge George Bakalis that they had reached a decision. That decision reportedly was death.
But during the 30 minutes it took to assemble court officials and the like, at least one juror had a change of heart.
That’s when Bakalis told the court that the jury had decided to reopen deliberations.
When they reconvened Wednesday morning, the majority, who was in favor of the death penalty, let the minority of undecideds control the debate. A few jurors cried during the ensuing debate. A few had more questions.
The jurors sent six questions back to Bakalis. Each time he assembled the court and had Dugan brought back into the room.
In the end, the evidence and the horrific nature of Dugan’s crime – snatching a Jeanine Nicarico from her home, raping and killing her, and letting two other men stand trial for his crime – was enough to convince all 12 jurors that the man deserved to die.
Even so, it will be a long time before Dugan meets his fate.