Reuters posts, "Jury declines to impose death penalty in Puerto Rico murders."
A man convicted of killing eight people in a crowded bar in Puerto Rico was spared the death penalty and sentenced to life in prison on Saturday in only the fifth case in which prosecutors have sought capital punishment on the island.
The jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on a death sentence for Alexis Candelario Santana, 41, who was convicted by the same panel earlier this month for the so-called La Tombola killings of October 2009.
The death penalty is banned under Puerto Rico's constitution but applicable in certain federal cases. The island is U.S. territory and Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.
His case marked the fifth time federal prosecutors sought and failed to get the death penalty imposed in Puerto Rico.
"I express my most profound respect to the jury for the decision it has taken. With it they have sustained the conviction of the Puerto Rican people that capital punishment should not be applied under any circumstances," Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said in a statement.
The governor said he has asked U.S. Attorney Eric Holder not to certify any other federal case in Puerto Rico for the death penalty.
Related posts are in the federal death penalty category index.