By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The penalty phase begins Tuesday for convicted drug kingpin and mass murderer Kaboni Savage, with the jury considering life in prison or death in a rare federal death penalty case.
Savage, already serving 30 years on the drug conviction, was convicted last week of committing or ordering 12 murders.
The jury found six of the victims, including four children, died in a 2004 firebombing, ordered by Kaboni Savage to retaliate against a cooperating witness.
Federal prosecutors will argue for the death penalty, citing multiple so-called aggravating factors specified by law, including heinous, cruel or depraved manner of murder, victims were children, and multiple victims.
The defense will present mitigating factors; it has broad leeway.
There have been just a couple of potential death penalty cases in this district since the penalty was reinstated in 1988. No one has been sentenced to death here since then and Bureau of Prison records indicate no tri-state area federal prisoner has been executed since at least 1927.