County DA to no longer seek death penalty amid reforms

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen announced a slate a social-justice focused reforms Wednesday. Among them was Rosen’s pledge to no longer seek the death penalty.

California voted in 2016 against repealing the death penalty statewide, with 53% of voters opposing repeal. In that election, Santa Clara County voted in favor of repealing the penalty.

“I also trusted that as a society we could ensure the fundamental fairness of the legal process for all people. With every exoneration, with every story of racial injustice, it becomes clearer to me that this is not the world we live in,” Rosen said in a media statement.

Rosen’s package of 26 reforms also include an effort to end cash bail statewide and to expunge records of those eligible who complete probation periods. Others are focused on equal access within the department, including all-gender bathrooms.

“We have to actively, purposely, and intentionally seek justice and pursue justice to achieve justice,” Rosen added.

A number of the reforms aim to change the way prosecutions have disproportionately targeted minority communities in the past. To see the full list of Rosen’s proposed reforms, click here.