Speak Out: Inmate sentencing

A chapter in the ongoing James T. Vaughn prison riot saga came to a close at the sentencing of three inmates, Dwayne Staats, Jarreau Ayers and Royal Downs, on Friday afternoon at the New Castle County Courthouse.

On Feb. 1, 2017, a group of masked inmates violently took control of C Building in the Smyrna prison. Over the course of a 19-hour standoff with police, correctional officer Lt. Steven Floyd was brutally beaten and killed, correctional officers Winslow Smith and Joshua Wilkinson were severely beaten and prison counselor Patricia May was held captive.

On Friday, Staats received two life terms for the murder of Lt. Floyd. He received another 153 years for assault, kidnapping and riot.

Co-defendant Ayers, who was acquitted in Lt. Floyd’s death, was sentenced to 123 years for assault, kidnapping and riot.

Downs, the prosecution’s star witness, was sentenced to three years for riot.

•Two life terms but no death penalty. What a joke — Jon Walczak

•We don’t have a death penalty in Delaware. Sadly. — Jennifer Harper

•Jon, death penalty isn’t an option…. — Ashley Carter

•Yep. They’ll be living off the taxpayer’s dime for the rest of their pathetic lives. — Rich Kane

•Ashley Carter fully aware of this . This here is prime example on why to have it — Jon Walczak

•Jon, it costs more money than life in prison though in the long run. — Ashley Carter

•I’ve never figured out why, but I’ve heard that before. Maybe all the appeals. — Suzanne Collison

•That’s exactly right. Max security, appeals, court costs, etc. Odd isn’t it? In Florida, a death penalty means 20+ years to appeal and extend life. — EW Hall

•That is self inflicted. There should not be unlimited appeals. One and done. — Mike Sezcrewya

•Who cares if you make punishment fearable again i believe this kind of bs would stop — Robert Blockston

Finally some justice for Lt Floyd.. all those acquittals going through- I was wondering if we would see any sentences from it — Mandi Mendoza

Just strap him up to the chair and be done with him. An eye for an eye — James Demko

•Would you “push the button” and witness it? — EW Hall

•Yup to see that justice was definitely served. Why should I care about quilting of life , he didn’t care about the other persons life. — James Demko

As much as I believe in the death penalty morally, most states don’t have it because it’s been proven not to deter crime and costs vastly more than life imprisonment. There’s no need to debate. A quick internet search from very reputable sources will tell you the exact same thing. — Linda Marshall

I agree because majority of the punishments are not stern enough so it’s a trend setter. Easier punishments encourage the repeated felons. We are a society that wants to rehabilitate everyone. Unfortunately some can’t be rehabilitated… — James Demko

I completely agree — Linda Marshall

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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