Friday, September 3, 2010

Murderer's Death Sentenced Overturned

A 78-year-old Brevard County man was re-sentenced to life in prison Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his death sentence.

"Them Chinese were crazy, which I'm crazy too," convicted killer George Porter said.

George Porter said he never asked the judge to save his life, but decades of appeals did get his death sentence thrown out and he said the appeals will continue.

"It gives me something to do while I watch TV," he said.

Porter was convicted in 1988 of murdering his ex-girlfriend, 50-year-old Evelyn Williams and her new boyfriend, William Burrows. But last November, the Supreme Court threw out his death sentence because Porter's attorney failed to bring up at his original sentencing, childhood abuse or possible post traumatic stress disorder from combat in the Korean War.

"I got three bronze stars, one silver star. I don't know what they are all for," said Porter.

Because of Porter's age, prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty again.

A victim's advocate spoke on behalf of the Evelyn William's family.

"Using military service as an excuse to commit a heinous crime is positively shameful," said William Burrows, the victim's son.

Porter could be considered for parole after 25 years for each of three life sentences he's serving. He'd be 129 years old, so even though he doesn't have a death sentence, he will die in prison.

The Supreme Court decision in the case did set a precedent. Not only did it get Porter off death row, prosecutors said other defense attorneys could try to use it to help other convicts with military backgrounds.

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