Why was Bailey Boswell spared the death penalty?

Only two of the three judges on the sentencing panel agreed that Bailey Boswell’s role in the murder of Sydney Loofe warranted the death penalty.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – On Monday morning, the families of Sydney Loofe and Bailey Boswell tensely hung on every word of Boswell’s sentence, read by Saline County Judge Vicky Johnson.

“Sentence on count one, murder in the first degree. The defendant is sentenced to life in prison,” Johnson read.

Boswell was spared the death penalty for her role in the murder of Loofe, unlike her accomplice Aubrey Trail, who was sentenced to death in June of this year.

She will not be the first female to sit on death row in thee state of Nebraska.

“Bailey is grateful for the sake of her family, particularly her daughter, Nala, that she received a life sentence,” Boswell’s attorney Todd Lancaster said,.

In order for someone to be sentenced to death in the state of Nebraska, a three-judge panel must all agree that a murder manifests exceptional depravity by ordinary standards of morality and intelligence.

How does the state determine this?

At least one of the following 5 factors must be demonstrated:

-Apparent relishing of murder

-Infliction of gratuitous violence

-Needless mutilation of the victim

-Senselessness of the crime

-Helplessness of the victim

Only two of the three judges, Judges Johnson and Darla Ideus, agreed that Boswell’s role in the murder of Loofe warranted the death penalty. Judge Peter Bataillon felt differently.

“I could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that the state of Nebraska met its burden of proof as to this aggravating circumstance,” Bataillon explained. “Nothing in this dissent should be understood to diminish the senselessness of the murder of Sydney Loofe, and the great pain this has caused her family and friends.”

“However, because I could not find that the state had met its burden of proof as to the aggravating circumstances, I hereby dissent from the other two judges on this panel,” Bataillon said.

Lancaster says a split decision is not uncommon in these sorts of cases.

“It’s not unheard of,” Lancaster said. “It’s not really unusual, but it also doesn’t happen every time.”

Channel 8 requested comment from the Boswell family on the life sentence for Bailey Boswell. One member of the family told a Channel 8 reporter, “Please step aside, we are having a moment.”

The Loofe family was escorted out of the courthouse through a side door to the parking lot. They left almost immediately without speaking to reporters.

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