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Death Penalty Sentences on Decline in U.S., But on Rise in L.A.

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Photo by Tim Pearce, Los Gatos via Flickr
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On the same day that serial killer Rodney Alcala was handed a death sentence for the murder of a pre-teen girl and four women in Orange County in the 1970's, the ACLU released a report on death penalty sentences in the United States, noting that while nationwide such sentences are on decline, in California they are, in fact, on the rise.The rise in California as a whole can actually be attributed to just three counties, per the report. "Prosecutorial practices in just three 'killer counties,' Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside - accounted for 83% of death sentences in 2009, while those counties represented only 41% of the state's population," remarks the ACLU in a press release.

Of the three, "Los Angeles County sent more people to death row in 2009 than in any other year this decade—and more than the entire state of Texas for the same period."