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Prosecutor: Death Penalty System Unfair to Victims

Posted: Jan 28, 2013 4:17 AM by Associated Press

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PLATTE CITY, Mo. - A Platte City man whose daughter was brutally murdered by a co-worker thinks the killer deserves the death penalty, but not if it means the victim's family would have to endure a process that could span a decade.

Landis Shippert says that's why his family supported ending their ordeal by accepting guilty pleas from Quintin O'Dell that would put him away for life.

On Thursday, O'Dell, pleaded guilty to five counts involving 22-year-old Alyssa Shippert's slaying and a second woman he disemboweled with a razor blade seven months later.

Platte County prosecutor Eric Zahnd says cases like O'Dell's illustrate the tragic dilemma the families of murder victims face. Public defenders argue it would be better to do away with the state's death penalty than try to fix a broken system.

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