Yesterday, I received a Notice of Withdrawal of Intention To Seek The Death Penalty in State of Florida adv. Richard Elkins. Mr. Elkins is alleged to have killed and sexually assaulted a man who had, without Elkins' permission, grabbed his genitals. The state had been seeking the death penalty since 2007, but after details in the case became more fully known, the prosecutor was persuaded to take another look at the case to see if it really justified the ultimate punishment. Capital cases are supposed to be reserved for the most aggravated and least mitigated of murders, and without Elkins' D.N.A. linking him to the sexual assault, a sweetheart deal for the older and more mature co-defendant, Elkins' young age at the time of the homicide (18), and clear evidence of extensive drug and alcohol intoxication, the case simply could not, by any reasonable standard, be considered the worst of the worst.
Usually, defense lawyers consider going to the jail a necessary but unstimulating part of their job. Seeing Richard today in the jail and informing him of the state attorney's reconsideration of its decision was, without a doubt, a very happy occassion for both me and my client.