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Fla. fed jury gives death to child-killers

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., April 1 (UPI) -- Lawyers for a pair of Florida killers sentenced to death in the slaying of two children, who died along with their parents, say they will appeal the sentence.

Daniel Troya and Ricardo Sanchez Jr., both 25, were sentenced Tuesday in West Palm Beach, Fla. -- the first time a Florida federal jury has invoked capital punishment since Congress reauthorized the death penalty under a revised statute for murder in 1988, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

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The jury sentenced the two to death for the execution-style murders Oct. 13, 2006, of Luis Julian Escobedo, 4, and Luis Damian Escobedo, 3. The two men got life sentences for killing the children's parents, Luis Escobedo, 28, and Yessica Guerrero Escobedo, 25.

Attorney Barry Wax, head of the death penalty committee for the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said that the jury's decision shows the significant emotional impact of a case involving child-killing.

"Were these two victims adults, my guess is this would not have been a death penalty case," Wax said.

Attorneys said they would appeal.

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