Reaction mixed on Damm's death sentence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Reaction mixed on Damm's death sentence


Jo Daviess, Illinois (KWWL) -- An Illinois jury has decided -- David Damm will get the death penalty. The same jury convicted the Waterloo man last week for hiring a someone to murder 13 year old Donnisha Hill of Waterloo. Her body was found in jo daviess county last year.

"It shouldn't be hard for me, but it is hard," said Laneaka Johnson, Donnisha Hill's mother. "You never want to see anyone die, especially in a situation that didn't have to be."

"I'm a little happy, but not as happy as the guilty verdict," said Adonnis Hill, Donnisha's father. "For the sake that we all lose, there's no winners today. It's just justice."

It's bittersweet -- but Donnisha Hill's parents aren't shocked at the jury's decision to put Damm on death row.

"That's what he asked for when he committed the crime. That's what he asked for when he did that to my daughter. And that's what he got," said Johnson.

David Damm will leave Jo Daviess County and go into the Illinois Department of Corrections. Damm's attorney says Damm's trip to death row isn't right and they will be appealing.

Damm's attorneys say a death sentence is out of proportion when Bruce Burt -- the man who carried out the murder -- will serve life in prison as part of a plea deal.

"We are gravely disappointed. We believe one tragedy has been added to another," said Mark Lyon, Damm's attorney.

Even after two years of pain -- Hill's family says they do not hate David Damm.

"It was never my wish to see anyone die," said Johnson. "That's not who I am. I'll pray for him. I'll pray for Bruce. I'll pray for their families."

Illinois law requires an appeals process on all death sentences. That process will start in December.

Illinois has a moratorium on the death penalty that started in 2000. That means Damm will not be executed unless that moratorium is lifted. That appears unlikely as long as Governor Rod Blagojevich is in office.

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