The court is dealing with a clash of cultures.... and going about it badly, IMO.
In my own mind, I would favor the death penalty for proven acts of murder. But,....according to the story, the associates who were responsible for hiring the hit-man have been relieved of doing actual jail time, and never faced the possibility of an execution.
Two business associates who arranged for the murder received probation in exchange for their testimony during the trial. Willie Fred Evans and Herbert Green testified that they gave Cleveland Clark the $10,000 as payment for the killing.
So, if the prosecutor has already waived severe punishment for the accomplices, I don't see how a death sentence can now be justified for the instigator... Either way, the guy is a disgrace....
I suspect that the individual has been admitted to this country with a Visa, but is not yet a citizen, and for this reason, the case appears to be being handled with a degree of leniency. An oath of allegiance, i.e., being granted citizenship, would have meant that he had sworn to obide by, and uphold, the laws of this country; in which case I'd expect harsher treatment to be administered by the court system.