A woman has been sentenced to die for starving her stepdaughter to death in an Atlanta suburb in 2013.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Tiffany Moss showed no emotion as the Gwinnett County jury delivered the death sentence Tuesday morning.
Moss was found guilty Monday of all counts, including murder, cruelty to children and trying to conceal the death of Emani Moss by burning her body in a trash can.
Jurors who convicted Moss of starving her 10-year-old stepdaughter to death never saw the pre-trial motion describing damage to Moss’ prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain where decision making happens.
Robert Dunham is the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. He says had the pre-trial judge found the brain damage evidence of her mental incompetence, Moss would have been assigned a lawyer at trial.
"They are much more likely to believe that they're looking at a monster who needs to be sentenced to death," Dunham said.
Instead, jurors had no explanation for Moss’ decision not to cross examine witnesses or put up any defense. Dunham said that likely left jurors with one interpretation.
Moss represented herself at trial and mounted no defense. She made no opening statement or closing argument and called no witnesses.
Authorities said Emani Moss weighed only 32 pounds when her body was found.
The girl's father, Eman Moss, is serving life in prison without parole for his role in the crime.
Tiffany Moss’s is the first death penalty sentence in Georgia in five years.