The L.A. Times reported on Friday that Los Angeles D.A. George Gascón made an exception to his directive barring prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in the case of Michael Gargiulo, where Gascón “said [in court documents that] he would not order ‘the trial lawyers to adopt his policy regarding the death penalty and does not order them to ask for dismissal of the death penalty jury verdict.'”

The court filing by Gascón represents another twist in the controversies over Gascón’s directives as D.A. On Wednesday we presented a City News Service report about the legal battle between the D.A.’s office and the Prosecutor’s union.

According to the Times story, Gascón’s spokesman, Alex Bastian, said that “…the move did not represent a change in policy but rather a rare exception necessitated by a complicated legal situation.'”

On August 15th, 2019, a jury found Michael Gargiulo guilty of the brutal stabbing murders of two women and the attempted murder of another. Seven days later, the same jury deemed him sane. In October of 2019, the jury decided that he should be put to death.

The Times quoted Bastian as adding, “‘What’s also important to our office is to ensure that whatever way we proceed does not revictimize the family through additional litigation… As a result, we are balancing all of those factors in how we are proceeding with this case.’”

Crime Story offered extensive coverage of Michael Gargiulo’s trial — which included the the media spectacle of testimony by actor Ashton Kutcher — and you can read all of our coverage of the trial here.

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