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Jury unable to decide if former KCSO deputy should be executed, or spend life in prison

The responsibility 12 Kern County jurors bore wasn’t an easy one — that was clearly reflected Wednesday when they couldn’t unanimously decide whether a former Kern County Sheriff’s deputy should be executed or be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

David Keith Rogers was sentenced to die in 1988 by a late Kern County Superior Court judge for murdering pregnant Tracie Clark, 15, and Janine Benintende, 21, who worked as prostitutes in Kern County. California Supreme Court judges overturned Rogers’ death penalty and remanded his case back to Kern County to be rehashed. Rogers’ first-degree and second-degree murder convictions stood, but jurors had to decide what constitutes justice for 76-year-old Rogers: death or life in prison.

You can reach Ishani Desai at 661-395-7417. You can also follow her at @_ishanidesai on Twitter. 

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