OCDA STATEMENT ON JUDGE GOETHALS’ RULING

Case # 12ZF0128

Date: August 18, 2017

STATEMENT

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) is disappointed that Judge Goethals made this unprecedented ruling and has denied the California Attorney General (AG) the ability to pursue the death penalty against convicted murderer Scott Dekraai. Given the pattern and tenor of his previous rulings, Judge Goethals’ decision does not come as a surprise.

In 2014, the OCDA obtained a guilty plea, ensuring Dekraai would at a minimum be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The only question remaining was whether he should receive the death penalty for his repugnant, callous, and despicable acts committed while exacting revenge against his ex-wife.

Dekraai planned and murdered eight, nearly nine innocent people, at the salon where his ex-wife worked, so she would experience the terror and horror of seeing her friends and clients murdered. Whether some members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department failed to produce tangential information in a timely manner has nothing to do with what Dekraai did and the fact that Dekraai deserves the death penalty. The AG made an independent decision to seek the death penalty when the OCDA was recused and should be able to proceed forward because Dekraai would have received a fair trial.