LA DA Facing Recall Wants to Lift Death Penalty Sentence of Man Convicted Of Killing 2 Japanese Students

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Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón doesn’t seem to understand why so many in Los Angeles want a new D.A. Los Angeleans have gathered 715,833 signatures on the petition to recall him, well over the 566,857 valid signatures needed to put the recall on the ballot. A lot of people don’t like him for his liberal, weak-on-crime policies that have made crime in the city skyrocket. Now, he wants to do another feel-good thing that will do nothing to deter criminals.

District Attorney George Gascón has asked a judge to lift the sentence of Raymond Oscar Butler, who received the death penalty for killing two college students during a 1994 carjacking.

Deputy District Attorney Shelan Joseph recently filed a 264-page resentencing recommendation, asking the court to resentence Butler to life without the possibility of parole instead of death. Shelan’s argument in the petition is that Butler “committed the murders of the two college students when he was 18 years old after having endured violence and trauma throughout his childhood. As a result, he suffered mental illness and cognitive impairment before and at the time of the killings,” reports NBC News.

“The defendant today is not the same, cognitively immature teen-ager who murdered two innocent victims in this case….the interests are best served by resentencing the defendant,” the petition reads

Gascón has not made it a secret that he is very much against the death penalty. It’s one of many criminal justice reforms he ran on. He has even been involved in pushing the federal government to get rid of the death penalty.

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Courtesy of CBS Los Angeles

As for Butler, he “was convicted in 1996 of shooting Takuma Ito and Go Matsuura, both 19-year-old film students at Marymount College, in the backs of the head in a Southern California grocery store parking lot. The case drew international outrage and prompted the U.S. ambassador to issue a televised apology, the New York Times reported in 1994.” Butler was sentenced to death. He was also found guilty of taking part in the 1995 stabbing and beating to death of a fellow inmate for which he was also sentenced to death.

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The petition from Gascón’s office has nothing to do with Butler, and how he’s allegedly a different person now. It only has to do with the fact that Gascón is against the death penalty. Butler has now lived 25 years longer than the two young people who he murdered got to live. Should Gascón be recalled? What do you think of the death penalty?

Stacey Warner

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