Michael Gargiulo, who was convicted in 2019 of killing two women and seriously injuring another in a series of knife attacks, will still face the death penalty after Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón made an exception to his order barring capital punishment, according to court documents filed this week.
When he took office last year, Gascón enacted a number of sweeping policy changes, including directives that barred prosecutors from seeking the death penalty or making use of the sentencing enhancements state law allows in certain types of cases that can significantly increase the time someone spends in prison.
But in the Gargiulo case, Gascón said he would not order “the trial lawyers to adopt his policy regarding the death penalty and does not order them to ask for dismissal of the death penalty jury verdict,” according to a memo Gascon filed in court this week.
In the same filing, however, Gascón also ordered prosecutors to read a statement which notes the district attorney “does not believe the death penalty is an appropriate punishment in any case,” and asks the judge to consider his opposition to capital punishment before he sentences Gargiulo later this year.
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