Atlanta shooter could face the death penalty


The suspect in the Atlanta spa shootings in which eight people were killed, could be facing the death penalty under Georgia’s law, according to US media reports.

Robert Aaron Long, 21, who was charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault, is yet to be presented in court after his Thursday hearing was cancelled.

According to a report by Insider, if the charges against him are proven, Mr Long would qualify for the death penalty. The prosecutors, however, haven’t revealed if they will be demanding a death penalty in his case.

Under Title 17 of the 2010 Georgia Code, most murders do not qualify for punishment by death, the report noted. Only three crimes in Georgia are punishable by death: Treason, aircraft hijacking and murder, but only if meets one of the 11 criteria laid out in the code, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said, which also reported that Mr Long could face the death penalty.

In Georgia, the death penalty is carried out by lethal injection.

Among the 11 criteria listed under the Georgia code, using a particularly dangerous weapon is one of them. However, death penalty in Georgia is rare, and there are only 40 people on death row in the state currently,  the state Department of Corrections data shows. Most of them have been convicted of murder with aggravating circumstances.



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