death penalty news—-TEXAS

Dec. 8


Sparks capital murder trial starts punishment phase today

Now that Robert Sparks is a convicted murderer, the question turns to
whether he deserves to die for killing his wife and two stepson, and
raping his 2 stepdaughters. The same jury that found him guilty of capital
murder will begin hearing evidence this morning about whether he should
receive the death penalty or life in prison with no opportunity for

Last week Mr. Sparks' attorney, Paul Johnson, told the jury that his
client is guilty. But he said during closing arguments that is just a
snapshot of this crime. Mr. Johnson said that he now plans to fill in the
other photos in the album and show why this happened.

Some of the comments at the end of the online stories about this case have
questioned why there is even a trial, especially when a man has repeated
confessions to police and television news reporters. More often than not,
death penalty cases are not about who committed the crime, but about what
the punishment should be. I regularly see defense attorneys with piles of
evidence stacked against their client wait to see if prosecutors prove
their case, and then prepare to save their client's life in the punishment

(source: Dallas Morning News)