Friday, June 29, 2007

Jury Recommends Death Penalty For Killer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After a several hours of deliberations Thursday, a jury recommended that an accused serial killer should be executed for the rape and slaying of a 24-year-old woman.

On June 8, the same jury of seven women and five men found Paul Durousseau guilty of first-degree murder in the 1999 killing of Tyresa Mack, a mother of three.

Durousseau was arrested in 2003 and is charged in the deaths of five other women. Trials on those charges are still pending.

Thursday evening, Durousseau sat emotionless as the jury's decision was read -- death by lethal injection.

"The majority of the jury, 10-2, advised and recommend to the court that they impose the death penalty upon Paul Durousseau," was the statement read in court.

After eight long years of waiting, the victim's family said the jury's decision was the closure it needed and it hopes to move forward.

Mack's mother, Iris Harper, said she couldn't be happier about the jury's decision.

"I feel relieved. I'm at peace now. My mother, my brother, my daughter and my family, the ones that are not here, they can rest in peace now," Harper said.

The victim's family was quiet in court, but outside in the hallway, their excitement erupted as the still-grieving family got some closure that was many years in the making.

"I thank God. It's a closure; I mean this is the most wonderful thing that could have ever happened. This is something I prayed for eight years. My mom prayed for eight years before she died. I'm just relieved, I really am," Harper said.

In a few weeks, the judge will take the jury's recommendation and make a final

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