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Death penalty trial in child's beating death set to start in capital punishment-free Hawaii

A Honolulu courtroom is set to become the scene of a death penalty trial even though Hawaii abolished capital punishment in 1957.

Opening statements are scheduled for Tuesday in the trial of a former Hawaii-based Army soldier accused of beating his 5-year-old daughter to death in 2005. Because the crime allegedly took place on military property, Naeem Williams is being tried in federal court — a system that does have the death penalty.

The Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C. says only seven of 59 inmates currently on federal death row are from states that didn't have the death penalty at the time the sentence was imposed.

Prosecutors say Talia Williams died after she was beaten for urinating on herself.

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