California Supreme Court Reverses Death Penalty Sentence

Jul 26, 2004, 01:00 ET from Cooley Godward LLP

    LOS ANGELES, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 .
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SOURCE Cooley Godward LLP