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WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2009, 8:19 A.M.

MT: Invoke Death Penalty Wisely

In Latah County, 25-year-old Silas B. Parks faces two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson in the death of his 28-year-old wife Sarah Parks and her unborn daughter. Sarah was suffocated or strangled before her duplex was set afire. Silas has a history of domestic violence. Now he faces the death penalty until Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson concludes otherwise, and Thompson has several weeks to decide. Idaho has a lousy record on capital punishment. The last thing it needs is another death penalty case. Thirty-nine men and women have been sentenced to die. Only one, Keith Eugene Wells, was executed in 1994, and that was because Wells dropped his appeals/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Should Idaho prosecutors abandon attempts to seek the death penalty, unless the case involves particularly violent circumstances like the Joseph Duncan one?

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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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