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Jury Recommends Death Penalty for Jamiel Shaw Jr.'s Killer

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A jury recommended the death penalty for a man accused of gunning down high school student Jamiel Shaw Jr. in 2008.Last month the same jury found Pedro Espinoza, 23, guilty of killing Shaw early this month. Prosecutors said Espinoza, a gang member, killed Shaw because he mistook the colors of his Spider Man backpack for gang colors. Shaw was shot once in the abdomen and once in the head.

Deputy District Attorney Allyson Ostrowski told jurors that Shaw's killing was a "cold-blooded, calculated execution," according to City News Service.

Espinoza's attorney M. David Houchin agreed that Espinoza needed to be severely punished but pleaded for his client's life, saying there has been "so much emotion in this case." He begged a jury: "Please don't let it cloud so much that you are unable to make the right choice as to the penalty."

The jury deliberated whether to sentence Espinoza to life in prison or give him the death penalty. Espinoza will be formally sentenced on September 21, according to a release from the District Attorney's office.