He soon confessed, blaming the robbery on hunger and drugs.
Judge Julie M. Lynch wanted to punish Michael W. Slager for dousing his ex-girlfriend with gasoline and setting her on fire. So Lynch issued the strongest sentence allowed by law. Eleven years.
Caurie Swinger’s testimony took an unexpected turn when officers saw him texting on the witness stand. Swinger himself made the news in 2014 after he was charged with running one of the largest dog-fighting rings in New Jersey.
Support for the death penalty, which peaked in the mid-1990s, has dropped to a four-decade low, according to new data from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.