Ana Maria Angel Killer’s Death Sentence Reversed?
On Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court overturned the death sentence of Victor Caraballo. For those who are not religious followers of Miami True Crime, Caraballo was one of the loathsome individuals involved in the kidnapping, rape and murder of Ana Maria Angel at South Pointe Park back in 2002. After the trial, there was no question of guilt. No question of blame. And no question of who did what to the victims in this case. And yet, somehow, after a jury voted 9-3 that this man did not deserve to live, his sentence has been reversed.
SANE ENOUGH TO STAND TRIAL, NOT SANE ENOUGH TO DIE
The Supreme Court essentially ruled that the testimony given by Dr. Lazaro Garcia during the penalty phase of the trial was inadmissible. You can read the opinion here, but even without the doctor’s testimony, is there any question that this guy brutally raped and murdered an innocent girl and tried to kill her equally-innocent boyfriend? Does his testimony change any of the facts of what Caraballo did? Unless there was some doubt that Caraballo hallucinated the whole thing and the doctor assured jurors he did not, how on earth are you throwing out this sentence?
The doctor apparently testified that Caraballo was mentally competent, and therefore knew right from wrong. But the conversations were considered inadmissible because they were confidential and only intended to see if Caraballo was competent to stand trial. So, let me get this straight: The PURPOSE of the questioning is reason enough to throw out a death sentence? The answers are irrelevant, but the motives behind the questions are what matter? COME ON. I know this is Florida, but can we please use some common sense here?
“IMPERFECT” DOESN’T MEAN “COMPLETELY BACKWARD”
Yes, I understand our legal system has some technicalities that allow things like this to happen. It’s not perfect. But in the course of researching the article I wrote on this site three years ago, I was more horrified, shocked, and disturbed than I had been researching any other crime that had happened in this city. People capable of committing such a random act of brutal violence should not be walking this planet. Period. We instituted the death penalty in this state for a reason: So people like Victor Caraballo couldn’t waste our precious oxygen. It is unfathomable to me that any judge could throw out his sentence because of some fairly irrelevant testimony.
I mean, I guess we can take some solace in reminding ourselves that Caraballo probably has had done to him what he did to Ana Maria Angel on a weekly basis in prison. Except he’s kept alive to suffer through it again and again. And despite the outrage and sadness I’m sure Angel’s family feels, it’s not like his conviction is overturned and he’s free to go out and do it again. But still, next to Texas we are probably the most efficient state in carrying out our death sentences. And if we can’t seem to keep it together enough to kill a waste of life like Victor Caraballo, well then, what’s even the point?
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