Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog


Murder and the Death Penalty

Posted on: August 31, 2009 at 6:30 a.m.

Steven Anthony Jones was given the death penalty in a Los Angeles court on Friday after having been convicted of two horrific murders. Jones, who had been described in court as a killing machine had had a startlingly violent criminal record. Jones was convicted of murder in the fatal shooting of a man during a robbery of a car wash and bludgeoning a woman to death with a pick hammer while on an especially violent crime spree beginning in 2004 that stretched all the way to Arizona and included torture and rape in addition to murder. His crime spree continued well after his arrest in 2005 when Jones was also convicted of raping a prison inmate as well as torturing and attempting two Los Angeles murder others.

The death penalty is still a very real possibility for those convicted of especially violent crimes in Los Angeles. Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys regularly work hard to defend against the death penalty, but the state and prosecutors can be as aggressive on the other side. While most people convicted of murder or related offenses are given 25 years to life in prison, or life in prison without parole, the death penalty is an option for the most violent criminal offenses, including the murder of a police officer or child, or murder for pay. Defendants previously convicted of murder are also much more likely to be given the death penalty in the event that they commit another murder. Under California Penal Code, section 190.2, a premeditated murder based on the victims race, color, nationality or country of origin is also punishable by death, making certain forms of hate crimes eligible for the death penalty as well.

While the death penalty is still very much in use in Los Angeles, if you have been charged with a serious crime such as murder, you do have options. Self defense, mental capacity and false confession are all common and effective defenses against homicide charges. With your very life on the line, you need an experienced, dedicated criminal defense attorney at your side. If you or someone you know have been charged with murder, call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today to begin preparing your defense.

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