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"Infinity is not enough jail time."

Lynne Tuohy reports for AP from Nashua, New Hampshire:

A 21-year-old man who admitted he took part in a machete and knife attack on a New Hampshire woman and her daughter was convicted of murder Friday, after jurors rejected his claim of insanity.

Minutes after the jury returned the verdict against Christopher Gribble, New Hampshire Superior Court Judge Gillian Abramson imposed the mandatory sentence of life without parole, telling Gribble, "infinity is not enough jail time."

For the first time in the proceedings, victim Jaimie Cates, now 12, appeared in the courtroom and witnessed the sentencing. Most of Gribble's knife blows targeted her. A lead investigator confirmed that even as she lay bloodied and feigning death on the bedroom floor, she opened one eye and watched as Gribble plunged his knife into her mother's throat.

Jaimie entered the courtroom after her father had delivered an emotional victim impact statement, in which he said he felt it was his "duty as a husband and a father to be here for every moment of this trial."
"I've lived the accounts of Kim's murder one excruciating blow after another," Cates said. "Through these accounts I have heard my wife's last breath, heard my daughter's screams, seen my daughter's perfect body mutilated."
Following the US Supreme Court's 1972 decision in Furman v. Georgia, states amended their death penalty laws to narrow the class of murderers eligible for the death penalty, as the Court required.  On the whole, this was a positive change.  New Hampshire went too far, though.  This kind of home invasion murder should definitely be capital.  A bill to fix this passed the New Hampshire House on March 15, but it cannot correct the miscarriage of justice in this case.

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