California death row inmate resentenced to life in prison

A California death row inmate convicted of killing two college students after a 1985 carjacking was resentenced to life in prison without chance of parole after prosecutors said his intellectual disability disqualified him for capital punishment.

The 3-decade-old death sentence for Stanley Bernard Davis "has been corrected," Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement from his office Tuesday.

Gascón opposes the death penalty, which he said "has been shown to not deter crime, has a history of racial bias and is fiscally irresponsible."

Davis, 59, was convicted of killing Michelle Boyd, an 18-year-old University of California, Los Angeles student, and California State University, Northridge student Brian Harris, 20.

They were kidnapped during a carjacking in the Westwood area of Los Angeles near UCLA, shot in the head and left in a field, authorities said.

Davis was convicted of kidnapping, robbery, grand theft auto, arson of Harris’s car and murder with special circumstances. He also was found guilty of kidnapping and robbing a UCLA student in 1984.

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The California Supreme Court upheld his murder conviction and death sentence in 2005 but said his conviction for Boyd’s robbery should be thrown out on technical grounds.

Davis challenged his death sentence in 1989 with a petition that included more than 200 exhibits documenting evidence that he met the legal criteria of intellectual disability, the DA’s office said.

"Today, after more than 30 years of costly litigation, prosecutors stipulated that a legitimate claim of intellectual disability has been made and requested that Davis be resentenced to life without the possibility of parole in the interest of justice," the statement said.

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