Victims' families react to FL death penalty ruling

- When Barbara Freiberg looks at pictures of her grandchildren, there is one thing she can't stop imagining.

"I wonder what they would look like now," she said.

On Mother's Day in 2008, Freiberg found Lisa, 26, Zachary, 7, and Savannah, 2, brutally killed in their home.

Edward Covington was found by deputies minutes later. He was convicted in the murders and sentenced to death in 2015.

"He gave my kids three death sentences," said Freiberg. "I think he deserves his."

However, the U.S. Supreme Court found Florida's death penalty unconstitutional in January because juries only recommend the death penalty, leaving the decision to a judge

The court said Florida's method violates the right to a trial by jury.

"When I first heard about it, my heart sunk," said Freiberg.

The State Supreme Court will decide whether the high court's ruling applies to those who have already been sentenced.

If so, death sentences could be vacated and prosecutors would have to decide whether sentencing phases should be reopened.

"I do not want to do that again," said Freiberg. "It had better not happen in our case. I hope it doesn't happen in any of the people's cases.

She has one reason to hope. During Covington's sentencing, he gave up his right to be sentenced by a jury.

He asked specifically for the judge's order.

"Sometimes it felt like the judge was trying to talk him in to do the jury," said Freiberg. "He kept going, 'No, no, no.'"

While she waits with dread, there's one thing she wants even more than Covington to pay with his life.

"I want to keep my childrens' memories alive," she said. "I talk about them all the time, even to strangers."

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