A look at what's next in Hawaii death penalty case

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Associated Press

Posted on June 28, 2014 at 2:32 AM

HONOLULU (AP) — In an announcement Friday, a federal jury said it was unable to reach a consensus on whether a former soldier should be executed for killing his young daughter in Hawaii, which doesn't have the death penalty.

Because jurors were deadlocked, a judge will order Naeem Williams to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Hawaii's territorial government abolished the death penalty in 1957. But Williams' crimes took place in military housing, so he was tried in federal court, where execution is an option.

Jurors had three options: the death penalty, life in prison or unable to agree. They knew that not reaching a consensus meant the judge would sentence Williams to life in prison without possibility for release.

Here's a look at what happens next:

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WHEN WILL WILLIAMS BE OFFICIALLY SENTENCED?

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright set an Oct. 14 hearing to formally sentence Williams. He also set a July 8 sentencing hearing for the victim's stepmother, Delilah Williams. Delilah Williams agreed to a plea deal for a reduced sentence in exchange for testimony against her husband in the case.

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WHERE WILL WILLIAMS SERVE HIS SENTENCE?

The Bureau of Prisons would determine that, based on factors including his security level and medical needs, according to Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C. The judge could make recommendations and even order that Naeem Williams receive some treatment. Naeem Williams' attorneys could ask the judge to make recommendations on preferred locations.

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WHAT DOES THE APPEAL PROCESS ENTAIL?

Naeem Williams could ask the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review his conviction. But his attorney John Philipsborn said Friday the defense is still weighing its options. "We will be looking at whether it's legally sensible to appeal," Philipsborn said.

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