Lunsford Slaying Trial Set To Begin In Miami

Lunsford Slaying Trial Set To Begin In Miami

john-couey.jpgThe trial of John Evander Couey, who’s accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford nearly two years ago, is set to begin in Miami once a jury is successfully selected.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the case against the 48-year-old convicted sex offender who faces the death penalty for the 2005 slaying of Lunsford.

The trial was moved 300 miles to Miami from Citrus County, where the crime occurred, because of intense pretrial media coverage.

That coverage has included the passage of tougher sex offender laws in Florida and at least 18 other states and spurred creation of the first-ever coordinated Justice Department effort to track down noncompliant offenders nationwide, such as those who fail to register or aren’t living where they are supposed to.

Miami-Dade court officials plan to bring in an extra 100 potential jurors each day because of the prominence of the Couey case. Ultimately, 12 jurors and six alternates must be seated before the trial can begin.

jessica-lunsford.jpgThe Prosecution unfortunately will not be able to utilize the full confession that Couey made because of a technicality.  Parts of that confession led investigators to Jessica’s body, and the evidence from the body can be used because a judge ruled that investigators would have found it without the confession. I certainly hope that the exclusion of the cofession in no way jeopardizes the prosecution’s case. It is sad that when concern for criminal rights risk letting a child predator and killer go free. Should that happen they need to come up with a new name for our “Justice System“.

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