Yesterday, the jury came back in a San Francisco federal courtroom, and found Dennis Cyrus guilty of a number of gang-related acts, including the murders of three men – including Ray Jimmerson, who had informed the cops about the gang’s assorted criminal activities.
The Distinction Between State and Federal Prosecutors
It was the first time since 1991 that San Francisco has seen a trial where capital punishment was even on the table – two of its district attorneys had followed an internal determination not to seek the death penalty, even if the law allowed for capital punishment. But they are state officials, and this is a federal proceeding.
Over in the Northern District of California’s federal district court, the U.S. Attorney makes the call on whether or not to ask for the death penalty, and this U.S. Attorney has decided to do so in Cyrus’ case. It’s the first time since 1946 that the federal prosecutors have sought the death penalty in the Northern District. The last time that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this federal district asked for capital punishment in a crime was in the 1946 trial of two men who had escaped from Alcatraz and in the process, had killed two guards and three prisoners.
So why now, 62 years later, is capital punishment being sought? Why now? Why Dennis Cyrus?
Continue Reading San Francisco Federal Jury Convicts Defendant Dennis Cyrus and Returns Next Week to Decide Death Penalty – Will They Sentence Cyrus to Die and Break a 63 Year Run?