Thursday, 04 Sep, 2008 Offbeat
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Woman Who Killed Her Baby by Microwaving Her Spares Death Penalty

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A woman, who was found guilty of killing her infant daughter by microwaving her, escaped death penalty after a United States jury did not reach a unanimous decision.

Although prosecutors defined the crime as monstrous and demanded death penalty, the defense told the jury that China Arnold, 28, was under the influence when the accident happened and she did not have any intentions of killing the baby.

The jury deliberated five hours and did not come with a unanimous decision whether to recommend death penalty or life in jail. The jury at the court room in Dayton, southwest Ohio, told Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Mary Wiseman that they would not be able to make such a decision even if the deliberations continued the next day.

Judge Mary Wiseman can now sentence Arnold only to life in prison without parole, life in jail without parole for at least 30 years or at least 25 years. The sentence will be heard on September 7, 2008.

The woman was accused of murdering month-old Paris Talley in 2005. In February Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Mary Wiseman declared a mistrial and on August 18 the retrial started. On Friday the woman was pleaded guilty of aggravated murder.

"We're relieved that an innocent person didn't receive the death penalty. It doesn't make sense that a person who has had no real problems in their life can even be accused of something like this," said defense lawyer Jon Paul Rion.

Mr Rion said he looks forward to present witnesses that can point to another person who might be responsible for the death of little Paris Talley.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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