Royal Oakes Quoted in Metropolitan News-Enterprise Story on Decision to Retry Former LA County Sheriff

January 12, 2017

Royal F. Oakes spoke with the Metropolitan News-Enterprise about federal prosecutors' decision to retry former Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy David "Lee" Baca on obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges. The jury in the original trial returned an 11-1 jury verdict in Mr. Baca's favor on December 22, 2016. Oakes' comments are included in the article "Decision to Retry Former Sheriff Baca Is Questioned," which appeared in the January 11, 2017, issue of the publication.

While some found the prosecutors' decision surprising, Oakes did not. As noted in the article, “It's rare that simply because a jury in a first trial was tilting strongly toward the defense, prosecutors won't aggressively pursue, and a judge won't seriously entertain, the idea of a second trial. . . . It's difficult to gauge the impact of now permitting a single jury to evaluate all charges against Baca [who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease], and hear evidence of his mental deterioration. On the one hand, this lets the government assert to the panel that Baca not only conspired to break the law, he also lied about it two years later. On the other hand, the sympathy a jury might feel when they hear about the former sheriff's mental condition might diminish the chance of a conviction on any basis.”

Read the full article, "Decision to Retry Former Sheriff Baca Is Questioned," on the Metropolitan News-Enterprise website.

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