Again a federal jury refuses to impose the death penalty in the District of Puerto Rico, this time in the case of Carlos Ayala-López, found guilty of murdering a federal security guard. The defense was made up by Bill Matthewman (of Florida) and PRACDL member Juan A. Pedrosa. They both did an exemplary job.
Since the advent of the modern day federal death penalty, the Government has not once been able to convince a Puerto Rico jury to vote for death. Capital punishment is banned under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Perhaps the time has come for the Department of Justice to give up its effort to seek capital punishment in Puerto Rico.
As a curious aside, sources tell me that the Government moved to have defense counsel precluded from mentioning God during penalty phase closing arguments.