Alex Murdaugh Sentence: Prosecutors to Seek Life Sentence Over Death Penalty

The punishment awaiting Alex Murdaugh, the scion of a South Carolina legal dynasty who was convicted on Thursday of murdering his wife and son, is set to be decided on Friday.

After jurors returned their verdict, Judge Clifton Newman said that the court would reconvene at 9:30 a.m. Friday for a sentencing hearing. Mr. Murdaugh faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in prison for the murder charges and a maximum of life in prison.

Prosecutors have previously said that they would seek life in prison without the possibility of parole, and not the death penalty.

At the sentencing hearing, people who wish to speak about the damage caused by Mr. Murdaugh or in support of showing him leniency will have the opportunity to do so. Judge Newman said on Thursday that he would not begin this phase of the trial until Friday, partly because of “what I anticipate to be a number of people who might have something to say.”

In South Carolina, prosecutors can seek the death penalty in murder cases, but the office of the state attorney general said in December that “after carefully reviewing this case and all the surrounding facts, we have decided to seek life without parole for Alex Murdaugh.”

Mr. Murdaugh’s legal team welcomed the prosecutors’ decision at the time.

The Death Penalty Information Center reports that there have been no executions in the state since 2011. South Carolina has said obtaining lethal injection drugs is too difficult. In January, the State Supreme Court ordered the state government to provide information on how it had attempted to obtain the drugs, as part of a lawsuit against its execution methods.

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