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Death penalty doubtful in shooting

Published 16/04/2015

Mourners visit a makeshift memorial where Walter Scott was fatally shot by a white police officer. (AP)
Mourners visit a makeshift memorial where Walter Scott was fatally shot by a white police officer. (AP)

A lawyer says it looks unlikely that the death penalty can be sought in the case of a black South Carolina man who was fatally shot as he ran from a white police officer.

Former North Charleston officer Michael Slager is charged with murder in the death of Walter Scott. The April 4 shooting was captured on video and showed Slager firing eight shots at Scott as he ran after a traffic stop.

Solicitor Scarlett Wilson released a statement earlier this week saying that, based on the facts so far, the death penalty does not appear to apply.

Under state law, death can only be sought in a killing with aggravating circumstances such as robbery or kidnapping.

In the meantime, court documents show the case has been assigned to a black judge: Clifton Newman of Kingstree.

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From Belfast Telegraph