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Seal Beach Shooter to Get Death Penalty if Convicted

Accused of carrying out the deadliest shooting in Orange County’s history and charged with eight counts of murder, Scott Dekraai pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the courtroom.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has said since the week of the Seal Beach salon shooting last October that his office will seek the death penalty, and that he hopes to get the case to trial within a year.

Dekraai did not speak in the courtroom, where he appeared in chains and in a yellow jail jumpsuit, just to his attorneys and when the judge asked him direct questions. It must have been impossible for him to ignore the more than 20 family members of those killed in the shooting that attended the arraignment.

Not only had Dekraai been suffering from PTSD from an accident several years ago that took away his career and his ease of mobility, he had also been locked in a vicious custody battle over his 8-year-old son. The son, who has lost his mother in the shooting, will potentially lose his father too, if convicted and sent to Death Row.

California is one of 34 states that have the death penalty, and we currently have over 700 inmates on Death Row. There are states that have ruled that portions of the death penalty in their state was unconstitutional, and banned it. According to a survey of the former and present presidents of the country’s top academic criminological societies, 88% of them reject the notion that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. (Radelet & Lacock, 2009)

How do you feel about the death penalty? Do you feel it is a real deterrent? Do you think that all states should ban the death penalty? Do you think that Dekraai was thinking about the death penalty and its repercussions when he carried out his actions at the salon? Do you feel that he should get the death penalty? Please use our comment form below to post your opinions, experiences and thoughts on this topic.