Find out where candidates running for District Attorney of Santa Clara County stand on a moratorium for the death penalty and where you can find out more about the candidates!
Where the Candidates for DA Stand on the Death Penalty
The following questions were submitted to the candidates running for District Attorney:
(1) The Northern California Innocents Project has reported more than 100 innocent cases (not necessarily death penalty cases) since 1980. 5 persons as of now have been released from death row.
(2) Regarding Race and the Death Penalty, in a recent study entitled "The Impact of Legally Inappropriate Factors on Death Sentencing For California Homicides 1990 - 99" by Pierce and Radelet reported serious racial and geographic bias in the application of the death penalty. See attachment.
As you may know all our surrounding County Board of Supervisors have passed resolutions calling for a moratorium on the death penalty. Such a resolution was passed by the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors with widespread community support.
I would appreciate if you could let us know whether you support a time-out on executions pending the release of the findings of the California Commission For the Fair Administration of Justice.
The following are the responses:
Karen Sinunu responded that the Death Penalty System is broken and she is in favor of a time out on executions.
Dolores Carr sent the following response:
Dear Mr. McCaffrey,
This is in response to your recent email requesting my position on the death penalty.
As the chief law enforcement officer in Santa Clara County, the District Attorney has a duty to enforce the law. The Santa Clara County District
Attorney's Office has enforced that law since it was re-enacted, and I will continue that policy if elected. However, I also recognize that the law gives the District Attorney a great deal of discretion to decide when to seek the ultimate penalty. I will personally review each case where the death penalty may be imposed to determine whether, given all available information about the case, the defendant, and the victim, justice demands that we seek it.
I do not currently support a moratorium on the carrying out of the death penalty in Santa Clara County. The DA's Office has established an internal Innocence Project to review cases where there is a serious question about the guilt of someone convicted of a crime, including capital murder, and I will vigorously support and maintain this project, if elected.
Finally, I am proud of the great support I have garnered during this campaign from the local criminal defense bar. They know I am ethical and fair, and have the courage to make the right call. As the only candidate for DA who has worked as a criminal defense lawyer and a Superior Court judge, I have a broad and balanced view of justice. We, in the justice system, must always be willing to take a critical look at the decisions we make, especially to ensure that the law is applied fairly. I pledge to continue to do that as the District Attorney.
Very truly yours,
Judge Dolores Carr
Jim Shore did not respond to our request but in a Public Forum in Cupertino said that he is not in favor of a moratorium on the death penalty. He said that it is the legislature that enacts a moratorium on the death penalty and not the County Boards of Supervisors
Marc Buller did not respond to our request but in a Public Forum in Cupertino said that he is not in favor of a moratorium on the death penalty.
You are encouraged to visit the candidate’s websites to learn more about their positions.
Dolores Carr: judgecarrforda.com
Karen Sinunu: www.sinunu4da.com
Marc Buller: www.buller.com