Man convicted of burning baby daughter to death back in courtPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- The Phoenix man convicted of killing his little daughter by setting her on fire in the desert is due back in court.
Man convicted of burnign baby daughter to death back in court - The Phoenix man convicted of killing his little daughter by setting her on fire in the desert is due back in court.
Shawn Grell, 34, was sentenced to death in 2001, after admitting dousing his 2-year-old, Kristen, with gasoline, lighting a match and leaving the toddler to burn to death in a remote area near Apache Junction.
Grell waived his trial in the Dec. 2, 1999 murder, pleading guilty in September 2000. The next year, an East Valley judge gave Grell the death penalty. Barbara Jarrett, who spent 12 years on the bench and only sentenced one person to death -- Grell -- has since retired.
The 2001 decision came before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that capital cases must be decided by a jury rather than a judge. That ruling forced an overhaul of Arizona's death penalty law, which means a jury will now decide Grell's fate.
Grell's lawyers are expected to argue that Grell has such a low IQ that he shouldn't get the death penalty. In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to execute mentally retarded criminals, calling it "cruel and unusual punishment."