Los Angeles, CA – July 26, 2004 – Read legal news and law announcements on LAWFUEL. Send Lawfuel law news
The California Supreme Court today vacated the death sentence of Larry Douglas Lucas on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel during the penalty phase of his trial. In the 7-0 decision, the court reversed the 1987 death sentence because Mr. Lucas’ lawyer neglected to investigate or present evidence of the physical and emotional abuse that he suffered as a child. The exceedingly rare reversal by the court in People v. Lucas is significant not only to Mr. Lucas but also because it can be cited in other death penalty rulings where ineffective assistance of counsel may be an issue.
The 13-year long case, which was handled on a pro bono basis by Cooley Godward LLP, was led by Paul Renne, Steven Friedlander and Chuck Schaible.
A full copy of the opinion is available by going to http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S050142.PDF.