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Hilo, Hawaii News, Sports, & Information Thursday, July 31, 2014



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Posted: Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 10:16 AM HST

Williams eligible for death penalty

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) A federal jury today begins the task of deciding whether to sentence a former Hawaii soldier to death or life in prison without parole. Jurors last week decided that Naeem Williams was eligible for the death penalty in the first capital case in the history of Hawai`is statehood, after finding him guilty last month in the 2005 beating death of his 5-year-old daughter Talia.

Hawaii's territorial government abolished capital punishment in 1957, meaning the death penalty hasn't been an option in Hawaii since it became a state. But Williams was tried in the federal system because the crime occurred on military property. His attorneys argued he was ineligible for a death sentence because of his low IQ.

Prosecutors said Talia's age and other factors made the killing heinous enough to warrant the death penalty.



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