John Couey was sentenced to death and 3 consecutive life sentences today for the kidnapping, rape and murder of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford in Florida.
Couey saw the girl playing in her yard one day. He went back to her home at night, broke in, kidnapped her and brought her to his trailer, where for 3 days he kept her in a closet and raped her.
After police began closing in on the location and looking at Couey as a suspect, he told the girl he was going to take her back to her father. He told the girl that she had to hide in a garbage bag so he would not be seen with her. She complied.
Binding her wrists with wire, Couey tied her in the first garbage bag, then in a second garbage bag. He dig a hole, put the girl in the hole and buried her alive.
Couey then had a relative buy him a bus ticket, which he used to flee to Georgia. When apprehended in Georgia, he denied any involvement in the girl's disappearance.
Couey's defense lawyers offered several mitigating factors to the court: his mother was only 16 when he was born; he was born with deformed ears, which were later surgically corrected; he has a low IQ; he had a history of drug use; his mother could not care for him and he was raised by relatives; he behaved well in court; he behaved well in prison. ...
I'm not kidding. That's what these lawyers actually presented as "evidence" to why Couey should be spared a death sentence.
They tried to say that he is so mentally slow that he is technically retarded. Neither the judge nor jury bought it, seeing as he was smart enough to hatch a plan, smart enough to know to hide the girl, smart enough to kill the girl, and smart enough to flee.
If you honestly think a bad childhood, low IQ or floppy ears should somehow remove culpability for the premeditated kidnap, rape and murder of a child, then you are not only as dumb as a brick, but should be removed from society yourself for being a liability to the rest of us.
My only problem with this sentence is that it could take 10 years of appeals before Couey is actually sentenced, and in that time he will not be mixed with the general prison population, who would almost certainly kill him. It's not fair that taxpayers -- including the family of the dead girl -- should have to feed, clothe and house this guy for a single day.
This poor excuse for a human should have been shot dead on the spot, and his body thrown into the nearest landfill -- no shroud, no service, no grave -- for the birds and bugs to consume.