A federal court jury in Chicago was deciding whether to impose the death penalty on a convicted drug kingpin who could become the first civilian executed by the federal government in 28 years. The case of Alexander Cooper is the first test of a 1988 federal law that permits the death penalty in drug-related killings. Cooper, 31, was convicted of murder for ordering the killing of his former financial adviser, who had become a federal informant.
Nation IN BRIEF : ILLINOIS : Drug Case Tests ’88 Death Penalty Law
From Times Staff and Wire Reports