Puerto Rico jury debates death penalty case

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Associated Press

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 1:33 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A jury in Puerto Rico is deliberating a federal death penalty case involving a New York man charged with killing an undercover police officer.

Lashaun Casey was found guilty in the August 2005 carjacking and killing of officer Jesus Lizardi, who was investigating a drug trafficking ring at the time.

It is the sixth federal death penalty case that U.S. prosecutors have presented to a Puerto Rican jury. Previous juries have rejected capital punishment.

The U.S. territory's constitution prohibits the death penalty, but Casey is being tried in federal court.

Such cases have led to numerous protests and requests by local government officials that federal prosecutors stop seeking the death penalty.

The jurors began to deliberate on Thursday.

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