A military veteran charged with killing five people and wounding six others at the Fort Lauderdale airport last year will plead guilty in exchange for not facing the death penalty, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Prosecutors disclosed their decision after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions weighed in on the death penalty question in the murder trial of 27-year-old Esteban Santiago. Sessions, who had final say, received input from prosecutors and defense attorneys in South Florida as well as a panel of experts at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C.
Federal authorities, unlike their counterparts in the state system, rarely pursue the death penalty, mainly because there are so few capital cases in the U.S. district court. And even when the Justice Department opts for death over life as punishment, an execution by lethal injection is extremely rare in the federal system.
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.