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Kingpin Is First to Face Death in U.S. Drug Law

April 04, 1991| From Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A jury recommended Wednesday that a convicted drug kingpin become the first person in the nation sentenced to death under a 1988 federal law allowing capital punishment in drug-related killings.

David Ronald Chandler was tight-lipped but showed no emotion when the jurors made their unanimous recommendation after deliberating for 90 minutes.

The same jury on Tuesday convicted Chandler, 37, of Piedmont, of running a marijuana ring in Alabama and Georgia and protecting the operation by soliciting at least one murder and the disappearance of two other people.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Howell Davis told jurors that there were enough aggravating circumstances for them to recommend death. But defense attorney Drew Redden argued that death was not merited because Chandler had no prior felony convictions.

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