Death penalty not sought in triple murder

April 13, 2011 3:19:59 PM PDT
San Francisco prosecutors have decided against seeking the death penalty in a triple murder case involving reputed members of a Bayview street gang called the BNT.

A San Francisco grand jury indicted 10 identified members of the gang in March of last year for the three homicides, which included the murder of a man in front of his girlfriend, mother and his three children.

Assistant District Attorney Eric Fleming made the announcement Wednesday morning at a court hearing, saying his office will still seek special circumstances in the case, which means life in prison without the possibility of parole.

District Attorney George Gascon announced when he took office at the beginning of the year that he was in favor of the death penalty. That set him apart from his predecessor Kamala Harris, who was elected state attorney general. She was opposed to the death penalty but set up a special committee of prosecutors which she authorized to make decisions regarding capital punishment on behalf of her office. That committee however, never ruled for death during Harris' tenure.

Fleming says the committee is still in place under Gascon and that it was their decision not to seek the death penalty based on the defendants' ages, criminal history and other issues related to the case.

Question is... will the district attorney's office now make this a blanket policy when it comes to special circumstances cases? We've asked the question but so far no response.


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