source: The Star Telegram
published: 23 July 2015
A jury verdict in a death penalty case earlier this year in Fort Worth is a microcosm of what is happening all over the state.
In a trial moved from Young County to Tarrant County, a jury returned a shocking life-without-parole verdict in a case I had predicted was an “automatic” death penalty.
In April 2011, Gabriel Armandariz murdered his two young sons — one was 2 years old, the other 6 months old — by strangling them. He then hung the younger child’s body from a closet clothes rack, snapped a picture and sent it to the children’s mother.
The facts were as bad as any I’ve seen, but after just eight hours or so of deliberation the jury rejected the death penalty and gave Armandariz life without parole.