Death Penalty Statistics In The U.S.: By The Numbers Inactive_account_ID_249/Pixabay

A man currently serving a 20-year sentence in Baldwin State Prison, Georgia was recently convicted of murder and handed the death penalty on Thursday. Ricky Dubose, 29, was sentenced to die after five years of trials and deliberation for the killing of two corrections officers back in June 2017. The verdict was given by the jury based on all four counts of murder charges.

Corrections officers Sgt. Curtis Billue and Sgt. Christopher Monica were shot to death while in transit during a prison bus transfer of 33 inmates in Putnam County southeast of Georgia when Dubose and a fellow inmate Donnie Russell Rowe attempted an escape. Dubose and Rowe overpowered the officers, grabbed their guns and shot them both before fleeing. A multi-state manhunt was launched to locate both inmates which ended in their capture and arrest days later in Tennessee.

Rowe, who is also serving a life sentence for an armed robbery conviction at the time of the escape, previously received the death penalty over the officers’ murders last year. However, this was reduced to a life sentence with no possibility of parole after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision during his sentencing trial. Meanwhile, defense attorneys representing Dubose are seeking a punishment less than death, citing they had witnesses who argued Dubose’s life should be spared as he was intellectually disabled which makes him ineligible for the death penalty, Fox News reported.

During Dubose’s sentencing, his lawyer, Gabrielle Pittman asked the court to choose justice over vengeance. Pittman said that death is not the only appropriate punishment for Dubose. A recorded interview from Dubose was heard where he told investigators that the attack on the officers was not planned and that Rowe had no intentions to kill the officers but was presented with an opportunity since the guards forgot to double-lock their handcuffs and the gate inside the bus that separates prisoners from the officers was also left unlocked. Statements from authorities said Dubose shot the officers in the head after he and Rowe fled.

“It’s just something that happened spur of the moment,” Dubose described the escape.

District Attorney T. Write Barksdale presented the jurors with photos of the officers who laid in a pool of their own blood after they were shot to their deaths by Dubose. Barksdale asked the jurors not to be charmed by Dubose’s words and reminded them that their job was to sentence someone like Dubose to death. He is set to be executed no sooner than July 18 but not later than July 25, 2022.

Representation Image Vintage Prison Bus schuykillcountyink/Pixabay