Johnson Could Still Face Death Penalty

Posted at: 11/15/2012 5:15 PM
By: James Wilcox

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A North Iowa woman in prison for her role in the murders of five people could still get the death penalty.

Angela Johnson has been in prison since her conviction back in 2005. She was found guilty of helping a man kill five people in Mason City, including two children, to cover up evidence of drug crimes in 1993.

Johnson is set to have a penalty re-trial after a judge ruled her lawyers in her first trial didn't present evidence of Johnson's mental state that could have convinced jurors to spare her life.

The new trial only relates to her sentence, not her conviction. Johnson argued against death saying the judicial process discriminates against women.

A U.S. District Judge disagree and struck down five different options that would have prevented death as a sentencing option at the new trial. That trial is set for June. It'll determine if Johnson goes back on death row or spends the rest of her life in prison.