Christopher Vasata is being charged with three counts of first-degree murder for killing three people in Jupiter, Florida on Super Bowl Sunday, this year. He will almost assuredly face the death penalty as a possible penalty as State Attorney Dave Aronberg said he would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
There are two ways the state can prove first-degree murder. First, they can try to prove premeditation. Most people think of premeditation as a plan, but the law doesn’t require a plan. Rather, time for reflection and reflection are enough.
The second way to prove first-degree murder is by proving the death occurred during the course of another serious felony, like a robbery. In this situation, the state does not need to prove the defendant intended or planned to kill anyone. They just need to prove he committed the felony and someone died.
Regardless of how they prove it, if convicted of first-degree murder, Mr. Vasata will receive one of two possible sentences: life in prison or death.
In Florida, life in prison means life in prison. There is no parole or early release for people doing life in Florida.
When the state seeks the death penalty, the process becomes significantly more complicated and expensive. One thing that people don’t realize is that much of the cost involved in a death penalty case is incurred before the lengthy appellate process that follows a conviction. Money will be spent on expert witnesses, doctors, mitigation specialists and investigation. Generally, people seem to agree that before we, as a society, decide to execute someone, we should be absolutely sure they are guilty and deserving of such a harsh penalty. To do that, every avenue of both possible innocence and possible mitigation must be explored by the defense attorney. This process is time-consuming and expensive.
This case will likely take several years to resolve as lawyers work hard to try to save his life. Mr. Vasata will remain in custody while they do.