Convicted murderer asks for death penalty

James Osgood was convicted of capital murder in 2015. (Source: Chilton County Sheriff's Office)
James Osgood was convicted of capital murder in 2015. (Source: Chilton County Sheriff's Office)
Updated: Apr. 10, 2018 at 5:36 PM CDT
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CHILTON COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - A Chilton County capital murder case took an unusual turn Tuesday as the convicted murderer asked to be sentenced to death.

It's never happened before in the state of Alabama, according to a prosecutor.

James Osgood was convicted and sentenced to death in 2014. However, due to a technicality, the appeals court ruled a new jury must determine whether Osgood should be sentenced to death or life without parole. That phase was scheduled for this week.

This is not the standard set up for a capital case. The court of criminal appeals maintained Osgood's conviction, but threw out the jury's decision to sentence Osgood to death. They didn't believe the judge offered the right instructions on how to make a decision on Osgood's sentence.

This week prosecutors were in the process of striking a new jury for what's called the penalty phase, which is like a mini trial, when Osgood spoke up and said he wanted to skip this part and be sentenced to death.

Osgood told the judge he was an "eye for an eye kind of guy."

"I firmly believe if you can't do the time, don't do the crime.  A couple of years ago I really screwed up. I'm guilty and I deserve death. That's what I want," Osgood said.

Osgood also said he knew the judicial override law had changed in Alabama - where a judge couldn't overturn a sentence in a capital case - and he wanted to ensure he was sentenced to death.

"When I heard the appeals court set aside the death sentence it worried me, now that the law has changed, judge you couldn't up it to death," Osgood said.

Attorneys made calls across the state, and they were told this is legal.

Osgood will be sentenced to death for the murder of Tracy Brown Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Brown, 46, was killed in October 2010. Authorities say Osgood and his girlfriend, Tonya van Dyke, beat and sexually abused Brown before slitting her throat.

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