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Jurors to weigh whether ex-soldier gets death


HONOLULU — Jurors will began hearing testimony to determine whether a former Hawaii-based soldier convicted of murder in his 5-year-old daughter’s killing should be sentenced to death.

The penalty phase began Tuesday for Naeem Williams in a Honolulu federal courtroom where jurors last week convicted him of murder in the 2005 beating death of his daughter, Talia.

Even though Hawaii abolished capital punishment in 1957, Williams faces the death penalty because it’s a federal case. The fatal beating occurred on military property, allowing Williams to be tried in federal court.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, only seven of 59 inmates on federal death row are from states that didn’t have the death penalty at the time the sentence was imposed.

Hawaii’s last recorded execution was in 1944.