On Friday, June 25, 2010, a Brazoria County jury rejected the death penalty for Nicholas-Michael Edwin Jean and instead sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Jean was convicted of the carjacking and murder of Susana Puente De Jesus in February 2009.
According to the Houston Chronicle, jurors voted 10-2 in favor of life in prison:
“Jurors said that given his age, the sentence was seen as a harsher penalty for Jean than a death sentence, which could have been carried out in the vicinity of a dozen years.
‘If he ends up living until he’s 70 or 80, that’s 50 or so years of thinking about it,’ said juror Stan Puckett. ‘One way or another he would die in prison.’ …
“Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne had sought the death penalty. She said she was nonetheless pleased with the decision.
‘This isn’t winning or losing, it’s about the truth coming out,’ Yenne said. ‘I don’t disagree with the jury. … They just decided to spare his life.'”
This is the second capital murder case in 2010 in which a Texas jury rejected the death penalty. Earlier this year, a Victoria County jury rejected the death penalty for 20-year-old Joe Estrada, Jr. (the case had been moved from San Antonio due to pre-trial publicity).
There have been six new death sentences in Texas thus far in 2010.