Some of the families of those murdered in a multiple shooting in Seal Beach, California, in 2011 recently asked the District Attorney to not seek the death penalty against the defendant, Scott Dekraai. The families said the delays in pursuing such a case extended their agony and forced them to relive the incident. Instead they recommended a sentence of life imprisonment without parole. Paul Wilson, whose wife was killed in the shootings, said, “We’d like to see a speedy, and just, way to go about this trial… This will end up consuming the rest of my life.” Another family member, Rooney Daschbach, spoke for his four siblings and said, “We requested that they accept the plea on the grounds that there’s no way he’d ever be executed. We don’t have an issue with the D.A.’s effort to obtain the most severe penalty but we just have an issue with the fact that the death penalty system is broken.” Dekraai is expected to begin trial nearly three years after the shootings.

California has not had an execution in 7 years. Thirteen inmates have been executed in the past 35 years, while 731 inmates remain on death row. The D.A. is continuing to pursue the death penalty, noting that some of the families wanted it.

(V. Jolly, L. Welborn, and A. Klein, “Seal Beach shootings: Some families want death penalty dropped,” Orange County Register, October 10, 2013). See Victims; listen to DPIC’s podcast on Victims.