Monday, February 25, 2008

Most think jurors should sentence Bobby Cutts to die

The poll was unscientific, unchecked, and unusual .. but the question was simple: "should jurors give Bobby Cutts the death penalty?"

31 voted "yes" while 18 voted "no". That's roughly 64-36 .. which would be a landslide if this were a Presidential primary ... but I can't tell if Obama or Clinton actually took the time to vote.

The one thing I found this week is that everyone does have an opinion here. Many shared with me what they thought they would do if on the jury .. and usually followed it by what they thought this jury will do.

A man at church told me that he doesn't believe in the death penalty but it wouldn't surprise him if the jurors in this case voted to recommend a death sentence.

Among the emails I received:

"The fact that he is EVEN eligible for the death penalty - is so upsetting. NO he should not get the death penalty."

"He needs to be put to death. To kill your son's mother in front of the child and leave him alone for more than 24 hours is not someone who deserves to live. Why should my tax money support this loser for life."

"As much of a scumbag I think he is, I still oppose giving him 'the needle' at Lucasville."

Others wrote that if ever someone deserved the DP, it's Cutts. Of those who felt that way, some admit that while they feel he deserves to die for his crimes, they'd have a tough time signing their names recommending it.

I wonder if the votes would have been different had I worded the poll "would YOU give Bobby Bobby Cutts the DP?" or "WILL jurors give Bobby Cutts the DP?"

If nothing else, the last 10 days since Cutts was found guilty of aggravated murder have given us all a chance to weigh our thoughts on the death chamber. Is it cruel and unusual? Is it fair? Does it prevent future crimes? Is it really our role in life to kill others?

I'll be in Canton tomorrow to cover closing arguments and the jury's deliberations. The only thing consistent about this trial so far is that it's been unpredictable. No one expected the prosecution to wrap up in just one week's time. No one expected Bobby Cutts to take the stand and admit to killing Jessie Marie Davis. No one expected that there would be no rebuttal witnesses and jurors would begin deliberating after just 6.5 days of testimony. No one predicted that jurors would spend three nights in a hotel deliberating what would end up as a split decision: murder for Jessie's death; aggravated murder for baby Chloe.

The way all of this has gone, we'll probably end up having the verdict read Tuesday night as Northeast Ohio is engaged in watching the Democratic debate. If that happens, our station will be in a quandary as to whether to run a crawl on the bottom of the screen about the Cutts decision during the debate .. or to wait until the 11 p.m. newscast. These are the contingencies that the media must now anticipate.

If Cutts were to receive the DP, he'd be the first cop in Ohio to be on death row and the first in America to get the death penalty in the murder of an unborn child. Historically, fewer than a third of DP cases in Stark County have led to the death chamber -- so history is on Cutts' side.


Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Ned Davis hug one of his family instead of Bobby Cutt's Mom? Hmmm?

Anonymous said...

I may be in the minority but I am glad that Bobby Cutts' was not sentenced to death. I think he made horrible choices and will think about it for the rest of his life. I don't put him in the same category as a Scott Peterson because I don't think he is as "demonic" as Scott Peterson. I think Jesse's mom is honorable and I know she is a Christian for her enormous faith and humanity. God Bless her and Blake.