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Updated: 2:05 p.m. Thursday, March 14, 2013 | Posted: 11:21 a.m. Thursday, March 14, 2013
By Jason Stoogenke
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
It is now up to the jury. Jurors spent more than an hour and a half deliberating whether to sentence Andre Hampton to life without parole or death for beating his 23-month-old son, Elijah, to death in 2008. Prosecutors insisted, during closing arguments Thursday, this was not an ordinary murder. That it was especially atrocious and cruel, legal terms they have to prove to get death. They told jurors Elijah should have been safe at home, that it was a "torture chamber" instead, and that he suffered a "long, slow, agonizing death." They said, "Elijah didn't have a lawyer. Elijah didn't have a judge or jury. He just had an execution." They said, "Don't let this defendant beg for his life," that "he deserves no tears." But Hampton's lawyers asked the jury, "What good is killing him?" "If you were to kill Mr. Hampton, what good would that do? Is that going to bring cute, little Elijah back? Absolutely not." They asked, "Are you going to make them (Hampton's family) bury somebody else again?" They pushed for the other option, life without parole, saying, "He's a baby killer. He will be punished every day... for the rest of his life if you give him life." Deliberations continue Friday.
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