OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The state Supreme Court is considering whether prosecutors should be allowed to seek the death penalty against two people accused of killing a family of six in Carnation on Christmas Eve 2007.
The Seattle Times reports (http://is.gd/63OBuP ) that in arguments before the justices Thursday, the King County Prosecutor's Office argued that Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell overstepped his authority by taking capital punishment off the table.
Ramsdell held that in making their decision to seek execution, prosecutors should only have considered whether mitigating evidence warranted leniency for the defendants, Michele Anderson and her former boyfriend, Joseph McEnroe. Instead, the judge said, they also considered the strength of their case.
Senior deputy prosecutor James Whisman argued that the judge didn't have access to all of the mitigation evidence his office considered, and he said the decision to seek the death penalty rests with the elected prosecutor as a charging decision.
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