District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s Shameful Death Penalty Record New Report Shows LA County is a Top Driver of Death Sentences Nationwide

Document Date: June 18, 2019

A new ACLU report reveals troubling racial bias, unfairness, and overuse of the death penalty in Los Angeles under District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s watch. In March of 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a moratorium on the death penalty, putting a halt to all executions under his watch.

Los Angeles voters have repeatedly rejected the death penalty at the ballot box, yet District Attorney Jackie Lacey has continued to seek the death penalty in capital trials. During her almost seven-year tenure as District Attorney of the county, Jackie Lacey has sent 22 people to death row. These sentences have been characterized by racial bias — every single one of the 22 people was a person of color — as well as serious concerns regarding the quality of lawyers who represented defendants who couldn’t afford private counsel. Out of the 22 cases, nine defendants had lawyers who were previously or subsequently disbarred, suspended or charged with misconduct. A tenth defendant had a lawyer who repeatedly fell asleep through his trial.

Nationwide, we know that the death penalty is racially biased, error-prone and used to punish those with the worst lawyers, not the people who committed the worst crimes. The data from Los Angeles shows that far from an exception, Los Angeles, the nation’s leader in generating death sentences, is a major contributor to the unfair and discriminatory application of the death penalty.

It is long past time for Los Angeles to break from its pattern of using this unfair and discriminatory punishment. Take action today to stop DA Lacey from seeking the death penalty by signing the petition.

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