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No Death Penalty in Cab Driver Killing

SCRANTON — State law prohibits the Lackawanna County District Attorney from seeking the death penalty in a case of a teenager accused of murdering a cab driver last week.

Aazis Richardson, 16,  of Washburn Street in Scranton is charged with murder, robbery and other charges.

According to investigators, Richardson thought the cabbie, Vincent Darbenzio was cheating him by taking the long way to his destination, so Richardson said he shot Darbenzio twice in the back of the head.

“That’s what I do when people don’t listen,” he said Friday.

At McCarthy Flowered Cabs in Scranton, where Darbenzio worked, things have changed since his death.

“A lot of guys don’t come to work, we’re short-handed, guys don’t want to come to work, guys don’t want to go into the projects,” said John Evans of McCarthy Flowered Cabs.

When they learned the death penalty is not a possibility in this case, some were upset.

They said Richardson deserves it.

“I don’t know. It sucks but, it’s the law, you know?” said cab driver Rico Thompson.

Others said if he is convicted, Richardson should spend the rest of his life behind bars.

“I personally think that this individual is a dangerous individual and probably would do it again, but although I believe he deserves the most severe punishment, I’m of the belief that there’s no way we can kill our brother and it’s ok,” said Evans.

The U.S. Supreme Court has barred executions of teenagers in America since 2005.



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