Category Archives: Wright Case

Wright Trial: What’s Next?

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Jurors could hear more negative things about South Dakota’s first female defendant in a capital punishment trial next week, but they also are likely to hear some positive testimony.

The Sioux Falls jury convicted 43-year-old Daphne Wright of murder and kidnapping Thursday in the February 2006 slaying of Darlene VanderGiesen. The prosecution says Wright cut up her body with a chain saw after killing her with a blow to the head.

Starting Tuesday, lawyers will present evidence in the penalty phase of the case, and the jury will decide whether to sentence Wright to death by lethal injection or life in prison.

Attorney General Larry Long says prosecutors try the defendant’s character in such proceedings. He says testimony can include a person’s criminal history, financial condition and what the crime did to the victim’s family.

Prosecutors must prove one of ten aggravating circumstances, and even if they do, Long says juries still can refuse to invoke capital punishment.

Long says the defense lawyers can put on any evidence they think might persuade jurors to spare their client.

(( Source:  KELOLAND TV ))