- Associated Press - Sunday, July 19, 2015

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - Attorneys for a Jackson County man facing re-sentencing on capital murder charges want a jury to decide punishment.

Prosecutors said during a hearing Friday that a judge should do it.

Circuit Judge Robert Krebs said he will study various Supreme Court rulings in other cases before making the decision.

Stephen Virgil McGilberry, now 37, was 16 when he was initially sentenced to death in 1996 in Jackson County.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1e7aKay) McGilberry is asking for his release or at least a chance at being released after 20 years in prison, 10 of those years on death row

McGilberry was convicted of using a baseball bat to kill four relatives on Oct. 23, 1994, in the St. Martin community.

McGilberry’s stepfather, Kenneth Purifoy; mother, Patricia Purifoy; stepsister, Kimberly Self and her 3-year-old son Kristopher Self, were murdered. McGilberry took a money order from his mother’s purse and drove away in the family’s vehicle.

The jury sentenced him to death, but a U.S. Supreme Court ruling took the death penalty off the table for juveniles convicted of homicides.

In 2005, McGilberry was re-sentenced to four life terms without parole.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court found it is unconstitutional to impose a mandatory life-without-parole sentence on someone who was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime.

In 2014, the Mississippi Supreme Court gave McGilberry permission to seek a new sentencing hearing in Jackson County.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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