Tag Archives: penalty

Mass killer spared death penalty over Calif. jail informant scandal

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A Southern California mass killer will be spared the death penalty amid a long-running scandal over local authorities’ use of jailhouse informants, a judge decided Friday.

Judge Thomas M. Goethals said Scott Dekraai would not be sentenced to death after pleading guilty to killing eight people in a 2011 shooting rampage at an Orange County hair salon.

The ruling leaves only the possibility that Dekraai, 47, will be sentenced to life in prison.

It’s rare for a judge to bar prosecutors from seeking a death sentence. While acknowledging the “horrendous” nature of Dekraai’s crime, Goethals found that failures by the prosecution team would prevent a fair penalty phase of the trial.

Dekraai’s defense attorneys had argued that repeated failures by sheriff’s authorities to reveal records related to informants in the county jail show the agency can’t be trusted to turn over evidence that could favor their client.

Goethals noted authorities

Read more at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mass-killer-spared-death-penalty-over-calif-jail-informant-scandal/

Mass killer spared death penalty over Calif. jail informant scandal …

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A Southern California mass killer will be spared the death penalty amid a long-running scandal over local authorities’ use of jailhouse informants, a judge decided Friday.

Judge Thomas M. Goethals said Scott Dekraai would not be sentenced to death after pleading guilty to killing eight people in a 2011 shooting rampage at an Orange County hair salon.

The ruling leaves only the possibility that Dekraai, 47, will be sentenced to life in prison.

It’s rare for a judge to bar prosecutors from seeking a death sentence. While acknowledging the “horrendous” nature of Dekraai’s crime, Goethals found that failures by the prosecution team would prevent a fair penalty phase of the trial.

Dekraai’s defense attorneys had argued that repeated failures by sheriff’s authorities to reveal records related to informants in the county jail show the agency can’t be trusted to turn over evidence that could favor their client.

Goethals noted authorities

Read more at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mass-killer-spared-death-penalty-over-calif-jail-informant-scandal/

Calif. mass murderer escapes death penalty

Aug. 18 (UPI) — The man responsible for Orange County, Calif.’s, deadliest mass shooting avoided the death sentence Friday after a judge ruled prosecutorial misconduct made such a determination impossible.

Instead, Scott Evans Dekraai was sentenced to eight consecutive life terms without parole.

Dekraai, 47, pleaded guilty in 2014 to gunning down eight people including his ex-wife at the hair salon where she worked in Seal Beach in October, 2011. Dekraai’s motive was anger over a custody dispute. Dekraai was apprehended minutes after the shooting, was identified by eye-witnesses and never denied he was the shooter.

Despite the overwhelming evidence against his client, Dekraai’s attorney, Scott Sanders, succeeded in shifting the focus in the case away from the crime and onto the conduct of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and county prosecutors. Sanders repeatedly argued before Orange County Read more at: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/08/18/Calif-mass-murderer-escapes-death-penalty/5181503094452/

California mass killer spared death penalty over prosecutor misconduct

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California man convicted of the worst mass killing in Orange County history was spared the death penalty on Friday after a judge found that serious misconduct by prosecutors had violated his rights to a fair trial.

The ruling means that, barring a successful appeal, former tugboat worker Scott Dekraai, 47, will be sentenced to life in prison for killing eight people in a 2011 shooting rampage at a Seal Beach hair salon.

“If this case had been prosecuted from the outset by the Orange County District Attorney within the most fundamental parameters of prosecutorial propriety, this defendant would likely be living alongside other convicted killers on California’s Death Row,” Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals wrote in a 19-page ruling.

Dekraai pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder in May 2014, making him eligible for the death penalty, but the judge took the case away

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-salon-massacre-idUSKCN1AY2CO

Orange County Judge Removes Death Penalty Option For Mass Murderer Scott Dekraai

ScottDekraai_DeathPenaltyRemoval_MainAsset.jpg
Scott Dekraai in an Orange County courtroom during a March 2014 hearing (Photo by Mark Boster-Pool/Getty Images)

Scott Dekraai, who opened fire inside a Seal Beach salon in October 2011, killing eight and wounding another, has been spared the death penalty.

On Friday, Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals removed the option of the death penalty from Dekraai’s potential sentencing, citing the inability of law enforcement to ensure Dekraai a fair penalty trial, notes the Orange County Register.

The decision comes after the Orange County Sherrif’s Department’s mishandling of Judge Goethals’ request to turn over all evidence procured from a jailhouse informant regarding Dekraai’s case. According to the Los Angeles Times, Judge Goethals issued a request for the evidence nearly five years ago, but only earlier this year did the Sheriff’s Department testify that there

Read more at: http://laist.com/2017/08/18/judge_death_sentence_dekraai.php

No Death Penalty For Seal Beach Mass Murderer Scott Dekraai, Judge Rules

Confessed mass murderer Scott Evans Dekraai, who committed the deadliest mass-shooting in Orange County history, will likely be sentenced to life in prison after Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals Friday blocked him from receiving the death penalty.

In a decision announced in a packed courtroom, Goethals sharply rebuked both the Orange County District Attorney and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) for “chronic obstructionism” and failures to turn over evidence to his court. Those failures, he ruled, mean Dekraai cannot receive a fair jury trial to determine his sentence.

It effectively blocks attempts by the California Attorney General, which took over prosecution of the case from the OC District Attorney in 2015, to pursue the death penalty at a trial.

“The truth is,

Read more at: https://voiceofoc.org/2017/08/no-death-penalty-for-seal-beach-mass-murderer-judge-rules/

Death Penalty Off Table For Convicted Seal Beach Mass Murderer

SEAL BEACH, CA — It started with a morning in Seal Beach’s Salon and ended in a bloodbath that claimed the lives of eight victims. What has happened since is arguably one of the biggest disasters in the history of Orange County’s justice system, stretching from the court house to the Orange County Jail system, leaving witnesses to wonder if the punishment fits the crime.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals ruled Friday that Scott Dekraai, the worst mass killer in the county’s history, will not face the death penalty.

According to Judge Goethals, Dekraai will receive life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty on May 2, 2014, to murdering eight victims — including his ex-wife — and attempting to murder a ninth, 77-year-old Hattie Stretz, who survived the bloodbath at a Seal Beach beauty salon.

During the course of this case, victims’ families have been forced

Read more at: https://patch.com/california/losalamitos/convicted-seal-beach-mass-murderer-sentence-handed-down

OC mass shooter is spared death penalty in case tainted by jail informant scandal

An Orange County judge on Friday threw out the possibility of a death sentence for the man who murdered eight people at a Seal Beach salon in 2011, ruling that law enforcement has repeatedly failed to turn over relevant evidence about the use of jailhouse informants.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals blasted the county district attorney’s office and Sheriff’s Department for failing to comply with his discovery orders, saying the agencies appeared to be the only ones “in denial” about the constitutional violations raised by the ongoing informant scandal.

“The prosecution team is either unable, or unwilling, to comply with these lawful orders,” the judge said. “This court has lost confidence that it can ever secure compliance.”

Had the district attorney’s office handled the case properly, Scott Dekraai would have been sitting on death row, he said.

Seal Beach massacre hugged and

Read more at: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-oc-informant-scandal-20170818-story.html

Judge rules out death penalty for Scott Dekraai in Seal Beach mass murder case

Scott Dekraai, 47, is lead to his seat beside his attorney Scott Sanders, right, in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana on Friday, August 18, 2017. In a ruling, Orange County Superior Court Judge Judge Thomas Goethals took the death penalty off the table for the confessed killer because he concluded law enforcement would not ensure the defendant a fair penalty trial. Dekraai pleaded guilty to killing eight people and wounding another in an October 2011 shooting spree at a Seal Beach salon. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Scott Dekraai, 47, is lead to his seat beside his attorney Scott Sanders, right, in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana on Friday, August 18, 2017. In a ruling, Orange County Superior Court Judge Judge Thomas Goethals took the death penalty off the table for the confessed

Read more at: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/08/18/judge-rules-out-death-penalty-for-scott-dekraai-in-seal-beach-mass-murder-case/

Judge weighs removing death penalty for mass killer

A California judge is expected to rule Friday whether a convicted mass killer should be spared the death penalty because of a long-running scandal over authorities’ use of jailhouse informants.

Judge Thomas M. Goethals will decide whether 47-year-old Scott Dekraai should remain eligible for the death penalty or sentenced to life without parole for killing eight people in a 2011 shooting rampage at an Orange County hair salon.

Defense lawyers want Goethals to take death off the table for Dekraai, arguing that repeated failures by sheriff’s authorities to reveal records related to informants show the agency can’t be trusted to turn over evidence favoring their client.

The California attorney general’s office says there’s no indication authorities have evidence that would assist Dekraai in the limited scope of a penalty phase hearing and that the former tugboat operator can still get a fair

Read more at: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/judge-weighs-removing-death-penalty-mass-killer-49289732