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The choose who sentenced Alex Murdaugh on Friday to life in jail for killing his wife and son has earned consideration and plaudits for his even-handed demeanor all through the trial and for his dressing-down of the once-prominent lawyer simply earlier than he despatched him to jail.

Decide Clifton Newman, a South Carolina native who attended racially segregated colleges within the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, addressed Murdaugh straight throughout roughly 20 minutes of feedback that ranged from invoking the reminiscences of the defendant’s slain son Paul and wife Maggie to lamenting what he described as assaults on the credibility of the state’s justice system through the trial. He famous that Murdaugh got here from a distinguished household of attorneys within the space and {that a} portrait of his grandfather, a former prosecutor, as soon as hung within the courthouse the place he was tried – till Newman had it eliminated to advertise a good trial.

Among the many most poignant moments got here when Newman spoke to Murdaugh about his wife and son. Referring to the capturing deaths and lies Murdaugh admitted telling all through the investigation, the choose mentioned: “Inside your personal soul, it’s important to cope with that. And I do know it’s important to see Paul and Maggie through the evening time while you’re trying to fall asleep and I’m certain they arrive and go to you.”

“All day, and each evening,” mentioned Murdaugh, who maintained his innocence through the sentencing listening to.

“And they’re going to proceed to take action and mirror on the final time they appeared you within the eyes,” the choose then replied.

The choose additionally remarked on how the case was an “assault on the integrity of the judicial system in our state,” referring to the distinguished place that Murdaugh’s household held as longtime prosecutors within the space – together with the protection workforce’s efforts to impugn investigative strategies all through the trial.

“As a member of the authorized group — and a widely known member of the authorized group — you practiced regulation earlier than me, and we’ve seen one another at numerous events all through the years,” he mentioned.

Newman’s 40-year-old son, Brian, died simply weeks earlier than the Murdaugh trial would pull Newman away from his house for greater than a month. Brian Newman, a former Columbia metropolis councilman, died of a cardiac issue, in response to The State newspaper in Columbia.

On Friday, because the choose handed down Murdaugh’s sentence for killing his personal son, he added a small additional contact.

“For the homicide of Paul Murdaugh, whom you in all probability beloved a lot, I sentence you to jail for murdering him for the remainder of your pure life,” Newman mentioned.

Newman was born in 1951 in South Carolina’s rural Williamsburg County and grew up there attending racially segregated colleges, The Put up and Courier reported in a profile of the choose final yr.

Newman was the primary individual in his household to be born in a hospital. When he was 3 years previous, his mom moved to New York to take a job as a home employee for a Columbia College professor’s household, leaving him within the care of grandparents and an aunt.

Newman graduated from highschool as his class valedictorian in 1969, a yr earlier than his native faculty district desegregated. In highschool, he performed the function of a lawyer from New York Metropolis in a play based mostly on a landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court docket faculty desegregation case, an expertise that helped propel him right into a profession within the regulation.

“To come back from a rural group, a farming group, and to go from that state of affairs to taking part in the function of a lawyer was fairly inspiring,” Newman advised the American Bar Affiliation in 2017.

After incomes an undergraduate diploma from Cleveland State College and graduating from Cleveland-Marshall School of Legislation, Newman started training regulation in Cleveland. He returned to South Carolina in 1982 and began a non-public regulation follow.

Newman served as a protection lawyer, a civil practitioner and a prosecutor earlier than 2000, when the state Basic Meeting elected him to function a Circuit Court docket choose.

“I’ve run the gamut, so far as dealing with all features of the regulation,” Newman advised the ABA.

Newman was assigned to the 2016 trial of Michael Slager, a white former police officer who fatally shot Walter Scott, an unarmed Black man, within the again after a visitors cease.

In 2021, the chief justice of South Carolina’s Supreme Court docket appointed Newman to deal with the prison issues involving Murdaugh.

By Maggi

"Greetings! I am a media graduate with a diverse background in the news industry. From working as a reporter to producing content, I have a well-rounded understanding of the field and a drive to stay at the forefront of the industry." When I'm not writing content, I'm Playing and enjoying with my Kids.

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