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 http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S050142.PDF . About Cooley Godward LLP Nationally recognized for our successful work in complex commercial litigation and pioneering business transactional services, Cooley Godward is a leading national law firm with an award-winning Pro Bono practice. We strive to give generously of our time, talents and resources to the communities in which we practice, and are dedicated to assisting people, organizations and businesses that cannot readily afford legal representation. Last year, more than 300 Cooley attorneys contributed over 28,000 hours to non-profit organizations, disadvantaged communities and low-income families. For more information about Cooley Godward's Pro Bono practice, visit www.cooley.com/probono.
SOURCE Cooley Godward LLP