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CrimeDeath penalty for Nathaniel Dixon will not be considered

23:50  10 july  2019
23:50  10 july  2019 Source:   citizen-times.com

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Nathaniel Dixon instead will be sentenced to life for murdering Candace Pickens, who was pregnant, and seriously injuring her 3-year-old. DA no longer pursuing death penalty for Dixon , decision backed by Pickens' family.

Most death penalty cases involve the execution of murderers although capital punishment can also be applied for treason, espionage, and other crimes. Proponents of the death penalty say it is an important tool for preserving law and order, deters crime, and costs less than life imprisonment.

ASHEVILLE - The death penalty for an Asheville man found guilty of murdering his 22-year-old pregnant girlfriend no longer will be pursued.

Court documents filed July 10 show District Attorney Todd Williams' office "elects to proceed non-capitally" in the case against Nathaniel Dixon, who was convicted June 26 of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and malicious maiming.

Dixon shot Candace Pickens, in her first trimester of pregnancy at the time, and her 3-year-old son, Zachaeus, at a North Asheville park in May 2016. Zachaeus lost his left eye and suffered a traumatic brain injury but survived the shooting.

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Nathaniel Jackson — DATE REMOVED. Archie Dixon . August. 11. Preliminary injunction granted on November 21, 2019 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia based on a determination that the federal execution protocol announced in July 2019 violates the federal death penalty statute.

The death penalty is a soft on crime policy that allows some in the system to talk tough while failing to make our communities safer and wasting millions that could solve more crimes. The death penalty not only teaches that killing is acceptable, but also teaches that senseless retribution is the framework

The record, signed by Williams and Assistant District Attorney Pat Patton, reports that prosecutors met with Pickens' immediate family members and that they "felt that a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole was a sufficient penalty under these circumstances."

Death penalty for Nathaniel Dixon will not be considered© Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.

Pickens' father and stepmother, Richard and Charlene Pickens, previously told the Citizen Times they oppose the death penalty for 27-year-old Dixon.

A sentencing hearing in front of Superior Court Judge Greg Horne is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. July 16.

Dixon's trial "has had more twists and turns than any case I have ever tried," Horne has said in an open courtroom. From the killing of a witness to the dismissal of several jurors, the trial has continued well past the six weeks initially estimated by court officials.

Nathaniel Dixon gets life sentence for murdering Candace Pickens

Nathaniel Dixon gets life sentence for murdering Candace Pickens Judge Greg Horne also sentenced Dixon to 207-261 months for attempted murder of 3-year-old Zachaeus; and 96-128 months for malicious maiming.

At trial, Nieman's parents wanted jurors to give Lockett the death penalty for Stephanie's murder. According to a study by the Kansas Judicial Council (downloads as a pdf), defending a death penalty case costs about four times as much as defending a case where the death penalty is not considered .

The death penalty has now disappeared from whole regions of the country and continues to erode in others, according to the. The Colorado legislature has sent to the Governor a bill that would prospectively abolish the state’s death penalty .

It's been nine weeks since attorneys began jury selection. By the time jurors began deliberating a verdict in late June, no alternates were left.

Two jurors were released by Horne after expressing safety concerns stemming from the death of 24-year-old Tiyquasha Antwonique Simuel.

MORE:

Judge Horne will remain on Nathaniel Dixon murder trial, sentencing delayed

After 3rd mistrial request is denied, Dixon's attorneys ask judge to recuse himself

Evidence doubts, all-white jury: Attorneys make final case to jurors in Dixon trial

Simuel, who testified for the state under a subpoena, once dated Dixon. She died of multiple gunshot wounds about two weeks after her testimony, and was pregnant at the time of her death. Her baby boy survived.

Asheville police have declined to say whether they believe her killing was connected to the trial. Horne, however, denied several motions by the defense for a mistrial by the defense because he said he has no knowledge that her death is related.

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The death penalty is supposed to be reserved for the most culpable. The Court has since barred the death penalty for certain groups of people who are not culpable enough to “deserve” execution.

Those who campaigned against the death penalty said the abolition would "contribute to the enhancement and progressive development of human rights." They said capital punishment has not been a deterrent for crimes and many innocent people are still put to death by mistake.

Prosecutors have said Dixon shot Pickens and her son because he was upset that she had not agreed to obtain an abortion. Dixon was believed to have been the father.

A jogger found the mother and son laying in Jones Park the next morning, where they had been for some eight hours.

Dixon is represented by Assistant Capital Defender Victoria Jayne and attorney Jack Stewart, who raised doubts about the state's evidence and criticized police work, saying investigators failed to pursue other potential suspects.

Dixon's attorneys also alleged Simuel may have been involved in the crime.

Williams previously sought the death penalty against Pierre Griffin, who was charged with killing three people in 2015, and Robert Jason Owens, who killed a couple and their unborn child in 2015. Both pleaded guilty, avoiding the death sentence.

North Carolina's death row population — about 141 inmates now — is the sixth largest in the country, according to a report recently published by the Center for Death Penalty Litigation. Seven of those inmates were sentenced in Buncombe County.

Convicted Killer Brendt Christensen Could Be Illinois’ First Death Sentence in Decades

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The last execution performed in the state was in 2006.

Dixon has been held in county jail since his 2016 arrest.

Death penalty for Nathaniel Dixon will not be considered© Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.

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This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Death penalty for Nathaniel Dixon will not be considered

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