Prosecutors Want Death Penalty for Alleged Serial Killer

Golden State Killer suspect accused of murders in 5 California counties
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2019 12:18 AM CDT
Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for Golden State Suspect
Joseph DeAngelo, suspected of being the Golden State Killer, appears in Sacramento County Superior Court as prosecutors announce they will seek the death penalty if he is convicted in his case, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Prosecutors want the Golden State to kill the Golden State Killer. Prosecutors from four California counties—Sacramento, Orange, Ventura, and Santa Barbara—announced Wednesday that they will seek the death penalty for alleged serial killer Joseph James DeAngelo, the Sacramento Bee reports. The 73-year-old ex-cop is accused of 12 murders in those counties in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as a 13th in Tulare County. A gaunt DeAngelo "had no visible reaction" as the decision was announced in a Sacramento courtroom during a brief hearing Wednesday, reports the Bee. DeAngelo, who was arrested last year, is also suspected of raping around 50 women in the late 1970s.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on executions last month, but prosecutors are still permitted to seek the death penalty. Outside the courtroom, Ron Harrington, whose brother Keith Harrington was murdered in 1980, praised the decision, the Los Angeles Times reports. "The Golden State Killer is the worst of the worst of the worst that ever happened," Harrington said. "We are thrilled with the decision to seek the death penalty." Jennifer Carole, whose father and stepmother were also murdered in 1980, said she doesn't agree with the death penalty, but she believes the move is part of a strategy to bring the case to a speedy conclusion by securing a confession from DeAngelo in return for a lesser sentence. (DeAngelo was tracked down with the help of DNA submitted to a website.)

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