A Virginia circuit judge has granted the wish of a prison inmate who appears to have committed an additional murder in order to guarantee that he would be sentenced to death.
Robert Gleason was already charged with one in-prison murder when he committed another, on videotape, then fired his attorneys and went to court to insist on a death sentence. On September 6, 2011, Wise County Circuit Judge John C. Kilgore sentenced Mr. Gleason to death for both murders.
While debate has raged for decades about whether the death penalty ever deters murder, the news coverage of this case strongly suggests that for one offender, at least, the death penalty actually provided the motive for a killing.
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