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Death Penalty Saga Illustrates Need for Aggressive Murder Defense in Orange County

May 17, 2011

The Orange County Register reports that the Orange County District Attorney's Office will take a third shot at trying to convince a jury the state should execute an Oceanside man convicted of murder.

After two juries couldn't decide whether the man deserves to die, Santa Ana murder attorneys believe it's time to let the defendant spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. Murder is the most serious charge in the State of California and it requires zealous representation. It also requires common sense.

The Los Angeles Times reported in 2009 that eliminating capital punishment would save California $125 million a year. Between years of appeals, court hearings, requests for documents, transportation requests for the inmates, billed hours for appellate attorneys and other costs, we would be better off abolishing the death penalty than continuing to waste taxpayer dollars.
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The Orange County case illustrates the need to eliminate the penalty. The newspaper reports that the defendant has been convicted of a 2007 botched robbery at a Home Depot in Tustin. He wore a painter's suit as a disguise, walked into the store and killed the store's manager, who tried to protect other employees. It's a tragedy and is inexcusable.

But so is the cost to try to execute the man. The newspaper reports that after his trial, two separate juries have been impaneled to decide whether the man should be put to death by lethal injection. Both juries couldn't come to a unanimous decision about the punishment. The district attorney asked for a third group of jurors to be brought to the courthouse, endure hours of questioning and then listen to testimony with the hopes that they can come to a decision.

Bringing in all those jurors has a cost, the courtroom, judge and attorneys' time could be spent moving other cases through the system. After two tries, the district attorney should move on and accept the fact the jury was unable to recommend death. Rightfully, the defendant's defense attorneys are likely to file a motion to give him a life-without-parole sentence instead of another penalty phase.

Murder is the most serious of crimes. It also requires an experienced criminal defense attorney. There are different defenses to murder charges, but it is much more difficult than portrayed on television. It requires an experienced, dedicated Santa Ana defense attorney.

If you are facing criminal charges in Santa Ana, contact the Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera Jr. to discuss your options. Through three decades of experienced, Attorney LaBarbera has argued over 200 criminal trials and appeals. Call (714) 541-9668 for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights.