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The Champion

January/February 2011 , Page 18 

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Justice Served — Sparing The Life of a Serial Killer, A Jury’s Life Verdict for Andre Crawford

By Debra A. Seaton

On December 18, 2009, family members of 11 women murdered in a small, impoverished African American community on Chicago’s Southside jumped up from their seats and stomped out of Courtroom 402 as the judge read the jury’s verdict.

We, the jury, after weighing the factors in aggravation and mitigation, one or more jurors do not find death is the appropriate sentence. The court shall not sentence the defendant Andre Crawford to death, but shall sentence the defendant to natural life imprisonment.

As the family members exited the courtroom, one could hear them ask, “How could the jury do this to us?” Anger, disbelief, and tears filled their faces. At the same time, an alternate female juror nearly fainted and almost fell to the floor. Crying and gasping, her face expressed shock and disbelief at the verdict. Another female juror, visibly shaken and angry, buried her head in her lap and sobbed. Her emotions could not be camouflaged through the makeup smeared over he

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