Is Levi Aron, Suspect in Death of Leiby Kletzky, Eligible For Federal Death Penalty?

July 22nd, 2011

According to the Daily News, he drove the boy from New York to New Jersey–interstate murder!

…[L]egal experts told the Daily News the suspect is eligible for the federal death penalty because he took Leiby across state lines.

“That crime is punishable by up to life in prison or the death penalty,” said former federal prosecutor Morris Fodeman.

Cops believe Aron drove the 8-year-old to an upstate wedding, stopping at a gas station on the Palisades Parkway in New Jersey.

Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch declined comment, but a source said her office “has no interest” in taking on Aron’s prosecution. A key reason is that the suspect may be mentally incompetent to stand trial. His lawyers, who have hinted at an insanity defense, have asked for a psychological evaluation, claiming Aron has been hearing voices.

I doubt the Feds would get involved here.

Another interesting legal ethics issue, as pointed out by Ann Althouse, one of Aron’s two appointed attorneys has withdrawn because of “the horrific way this boy was killed.”

“I have three little boys,” he said. “You can’t look at your kids and then look at yourself in the mirror, knowing that a little boy, who’s close in age to my eldest son, was murdered so brutally.”

Ann queries “What is the argument that it is ethical for a lawyer to express himself publicly like this, to the detriment of his former client?” I have no idea. These statements seem rather unseemly from a defense attorney, especially in such a high profile case where the defendant has already been convicted in the court of public opinion.