Updated: 6:11 PM ET, Tue April 16, 2019
Prosecutors in the case of Joseph James DeAngelo, who is the suspected Golden State Killer might be facing the death penalty, prosecutors mentioned in court on Wednesday.
Although the governor placed a suspension on executions back in March which prevented executions from being carried out in the state of California, the order does not avoid penalty death sentences from being handed out.
DeAngelo is accused of killing more than a dozen people and raping at least 50 people in 6 different counties in California between the years of 1976 and 1986. Four of the counties mentioned that they would ask for the death penalty if DeAngelo is convicted. The charges against DeAngelo in two of the provinces, Tulare and Contra Costa, are not eligible for the death penalty.
“We are absolutely thrilled with what has happened today,” Ron Harrington said, the brother of Keith Harrington, a victim who was murdered in 1980. Cases like this, he mentioned, are “why we have the death penalty.”
Deputy DA Thienvu Ho who is representing Sacramento County, said Wednesday that prosecutors would consider reevaluating their request for the death penalty if the defense provides mitigating evidence.
The six counties involved in the prosecution are Santa Barbara, Orange, Ventura, Sacramento, Tulare, and Contra Costa.