'Death is absolute': Defense makes final argument to spare Grim Sleeper's life

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The final argument in the death penalty phase for convicted serial killer Lonnie Franklin Jr. was delivered by the defense.

Deliberations were underway in downtown Los Angeles in the trial of convicted serial killer Lonnie Franklin Jr.

The final argument was delivered by the defense.

"Death is absolute you can't go back and fix it. If you made a mistake you cannot fix it," stated defense lawyer Dale Atherton.

In a bid to spare the 63-year-old from the death penalty, Franklin's defense team raised several questions. Was the evidence linking him to 10 dead women conclusive? Would lingering doubts and guilt plague the jurors if new evidence should surface.

And Atherton asked where is the "mystery gun?"

Franklin owned many weapons and kept receipts. Yet the 25 mm that was used to fatally shoot eight of the victims was never found.

"Before you vote for death, is it too much to ask that there is at least one credible witness that can testify that that man over there shot that woman," challenged Atherton.

Victim Enietra Washington was vital in the prosecution's case. She was the survivor who identified Franklin and his car. The defense alleged that detectives led her to Franklin's photo and tainted her memory. Before then, her attacker had pockmarked skin. Franklin's face has no scars.

The body of Janicia Peters was found in a trash bag along with the DNA of two unknown men. Franklin's DNA was on the twist tie which the defense says he could have touched at any time.

About the grief of the victims' families, the defense warned their wounds would be reopened every time an appeal of Franklin's case would come up in court should the jury vote for death.

"Hatred and revenge is easy. Mercy and forgiveness is hard," said Atherton to the jury.
Related Topics:
newsserial killermurdertrialSouth Los AngelesDowntown LALos Angeles
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