End Death Sentencing in LA County
  • Petitioned Steve Cooley

This petition was delivered to:

LA County District Attorney
Steve Cooley

End Death Sentencing in LA County

    1. Petition by

      LA County Coalition for Death Penalty Alternatives

Los Angeles County has become America's new capital punishment capital. With 13 death sentences in 2009, LA County alone sent more people to death than the entire state of Texas -- or any other state for that matter.

Those death sentences come at an enormous cost. The ACLU estimates that each trial seeking death in California costs $1.1 million more than a trial seeking life without the possibility of parole, paid for entirely by the county. LA has spent $68.2 million on death sentences since 2000, and $14.3 million last year alone. That could have also funded 185 homicide investigators or 223 high school teachers.

But most counties in California and across the nation no longer use the death penalty. In fact, only 10 percent of American counties have issued a single death sentence in the last six years.

it's time for Los Angeles to join the rest of the state and nation by letting the death penalty go the way of the Governator. There's no reason for LA County to pump millions into this failed government bureaucracy when most of the state and 90 percent of American counties get along just fine without it. Take action now and tell DA Cooley to put an end to death sentencing in Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: Marshall Astor

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,500 signatures
    2. HOLY CRAP we just hit 1000! Awesome work... keep sharing! Naturally once we hit 1k i cranked up the goal to 1500, we've got to keep it coming!

    3. Amazing progress over the last few days, and we've now topped 750! Let's keep the momentum going -- I've just updated the letter to the DA with the latest statistics on death sentences from LA County and the latest cost estimate. Please keep sharing the petition by Facebook, Twitter, and email! And as always, those in the LA area should get involved in our county coalition to stop the death penalty!

    4. Reached 750 signatures
    5. Oh and by the way, for those of you in the LA area who want to get more involved in our grassroots movement to end death sentencing here, check out the local coalition I help manage, the LA County Coalition for Death Penalty Alternatives: Thanks!!

    6. Wow, 500 signers!! Way to go everyone. We need to keep momentum going, so please share the petition with your friends on FB, Twitter, and Email! I just posted a new blog with some updates about LA County -- we're no longer the "capital punishment capital," we got bumped down to second place by Maricopa County, Arizona, but we continue to be the leading death penalty county in California. And of course, DA Steve Cooley continues to ignore the public support for getting rid of the death penalty and the extreme cost of each sentences.

      Make sure your friends tell him to STOP SEEKING DEATH!

    7. LA District Attorney Continues to Ignore the Trend on the Death Penalty

      While most of California is talking about repealing the state’s dysfunctional death penalty, prosecutors in Los Angeles seem blissfully unaware of the problems associated with all the men and women being sent to death row from their county.

    8. Reached 500 signatures
    9. Why is LA County Prioritizing Executions Over Victims?

      Some advocates of the death penalty say capital punishment serves family members of murder victims. Prosecutors like LA County’s Steve Cooley, one of the nation’s most prolific death penalty prosecutors, often claim they seek the death penalty...

    10. Do Americans Really Support the Death Penalty?

      Homer Simpson put it best: “People can come up with statistics to prove any point. Fourteen percent of people know that.” Lately, we have good reason to heed his sage wisdom as a new round of death penalty polls, with an accompanying round of...

    11. Why Is Los Angeles Handing Out More Death Sentences than All of Texas?

      Almost a week after election day, the California attorney general race is still too close to call.
      At present, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, a Republican, leads San Francisco D.A. Kamala Harris, a Democrat, by less than one percent....

    12. LA County: America's Capital Punishment Capital

      In striking down America’s death penalty in 1972, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously compared capital punishment to being struck by lightning, arguing that death sentences were given to “a capriciously selected random handful.”...


    Reasons for signing

    • Lisa Goldberg PLANTATION, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      The death penalty is ungodly, meaning it is of Satan. In all of God's Word, the death penalty goes against God. The death penalty is WRONG!

    • Joan George ANDERSON, IN
      • over 2 years ago

      End Death Sentencing in LA County! I'm writing to ask you to stop seeking death sentences in Los Angeles County. Instead, I hope you will invest the county's resources on solving homicides, preventing violence, and creating and expanding effective public safety programs.

      Los Angeles has become a rogue county when it comes to death sentencing. Despite a decline in death sentences around the country, California's death row population has now reached 700, 30 percent of whom were prosecuted by your office. In 2009, your office sent 13 people to death row. This number not only topped every other county in the state, but every county in the nation. In fact, our county alone sent more people to death row that year than any state in the union, including Texas. Last year this trend continued with 8 death sentences from LA County -- the same number as the entire state of Texas.

      The death penalty is costly, both to the state and the county. In the last 10 years, death penalty prosecutions have cost more than Los Angeles County $75 million, and post-conviction costs for housing and appeals for death row inmates from the county have reached $41.1 million per year. The money spent on the death penalty has not made Los Angeles County safer, has not lowered the rate of unsolved murders, and has not improved the quality of lives of Angelinos. Instead of spending $14.3 million on 13 death penalty prosecutions in 2009, Los Angeles County could have hired 223 experienced high school teachers or 185 homicide investigators, for example.

      As district attorney, you have the power to move Los Angeles County in a new direction. The majority of California's counties have effectively replaced the death penalty with permanent imprisonment, enjoying increased funding for other necessary services without seeing an increase in violent crime. You have the opportunity to significantly improve the budget conditions of the county while simultaneously eliminating the risk of executing an innocent person simply by discontinuing death penalty prosecutions in your office.

      These facts are outlined in a recent report by the ACLU of Northern California, "Death in Decline '09." You can view this report here: www.aclunc.org/deathpenalty.

    • Morgan Vargas ZEPHYRHILLS, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      We can't never be sure if someone is guilty.

      And even if someone is guilty, they can't make amends by dieing.

      • over 2 years ago

      The death penalty has been abolished in most western nations and elsewhere around the world.

      Please join the modern world.

    • Delmy Rivera MONORIVA, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      I want to abolish the death penalty as I think it is cruel and is costing tax payers like myselt millions of dollars. This money can go to prevention programs for families and



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