Death Penalty Sought for Accused Killer Mario Andrette McNeill, But Not for Shaniya’s Mother
I’m coming back bit by bit to normal news critique, and accordingly, this bit of news cropped up on Google News this afternoon. No, Antoinette Davis will not be tried under the death penalty, but I’m sure that she may get some really hard time as she should.
A judge has cleared the way for prosecutors to seek the death penalty against the man accused of killing 5-year-old Shaniya Davis in 2009.
Prosecutors, however, told Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons in a hearing this afternoon that they do not intend to seek the death penalty for her mother, Antoniette Davis, 27, who is accused of giving up her daughter to pay off a drug debt.
Mario Andrette McNeill, 31, and Davis are both charged with first-degree murder in Shaniya’s death.
Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty against McNeill because of two aggravating factors – that he is accused of killing Shaniya during the commission of a rape and kidnapping and that the crime was “especially heinous, atrocious and cruel,” District Attorney Billy West said.
Now, why didn’t the prosecutors give Antoinette Davis the death penalty?
West said that after consulting with the state Attorney General’s Office, prosecutors determined that a U.S. Supreme Court decision from 1982, Enmund v. Florida, would preclude them from seeking the death penalty under the facts of the case because Antoinette Davis did not intend for her daughter to die.
That case established that the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibits death sentences for defendants in felony murder cases who did not themselves kill, try to kill or intend to kill anyone.
But the ultimate question remains, if Antoinette Davis didn’t intend to kill her daughter, did she ever think that she would see the little girl again at all? That Shaniya would eventually be dropped off alive, back to that hell hole that was her mother’s trailer home? That’s what gets me about this entire thing, that you would consign your flesh and blood into the netherworld, and perhaps never see him/her again, handed over to a thug that could do whatever he wanted to do with a child.
But that is what drugs does to people. It warps whatever sense of values instilled in them.
Davis’ attorney, D.W. Bray, thinks that Davis was not responsible for giving Shaniya to McNeill. He believes that since there were other people staying at the trailer, that someone else may have negotiated with McNeill for drugs, and handed over Shaniya. At the time of the rape-murder, Davis was indeed employed as a certified nursing assistant. Moreover, despite her personal problems, she had had no criminal history.
So what Bray seems to suggest is that if she had wanted, Davis could have afforded a few rocks for fun, or could have paid off her indebtedness, if any, to McNeill. If she had been the sole, minimum wage breadwinner for herself and the other people in the trailer home, though, this might have been difficult, thus leading her to selling her child. I don’t predict that Bray will pull a Perry Mason and reveal this
skunk complete waste of breath person, and thus exonerate Antoinette Davis.
Naturally, folks up and down the ‘Net aren’t too thrilled that Davis isn’t facing a death penalty. They want to see her fry.
To me, life or life without possibility of parole is enough for this woman, who is now 27. And she should not be having children in or outside of prison.
Bail for Davis is being set at $2 million dollars after she was arraigned on Wednesday. I don’t believe anyone has that kind of cash to spring her free from the Cumberland County Jail, so I figure that she’s going be chilling there until the trial.
McNeill is still sitting in the Central Prison in Raleigh. Bail has been denied in his case.
- State to seek death penalty in the Shaniya Davis murder case (mccannexposure.wordpress.com)