Dane Abdool was convicted for the 2006 murder of his then girlfriend, 17-year-old Amelia Sookdeo. Abdool, who was 20 at the time, was enraged that he thought Amelia was pregnant. So much so that he forced her out of his car onto the side of a Florida country road, doused her in gasoline and set her on fire. After his conviction, Abdool was sentenced to death, and rightly so. He previously tried to get his death sentence overturned claiming that a drug used in Florida’s lethal injection was considered cruel and unusual, which is ironic to say the least.
This past week, Abdool’s death sentence was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court on the grounds that the jury who decided his fate back in 2008, did not unanimously vote on the death penalty. The jury at the time voted 10-2 to give Abdool the death penalty. Nine other such cases have been sent back to the lower courts for review.
This isn’t to say that Abdool will necessarily escape the death penalty. It means that the sentencing phase will be sent back to a county court to more than likely hold another sentencing phase. My only hope is that during the new sentencing phase Abdool is once again sentenced to death. His crime was not only barbaric, but it’s unimaginable how the 17-year-old Amelia must have suffered, being bound and set on fire, before finally succumbing to the torture that Abdool inflicted on her. Abdool should consider himself lucky if he only receives lethal injection after what he did to Amelia.
Sadly, I doubt that he’ll be re-sentenced to death. Too many jurors these days lack the fortitude to pull the trigger on the death penalty, so to speak. It’s more likely that the jury will not be unanimous, and it will be an eternity before Abdool receives his ultimate judgment.