In the last 5 years, Caddo Parish had the highest number of death penalties in the state. However, this was not always the situation. In the eighties, the area accounted for less than 5% of the convicts who were sentenced to death. As opposed to this, as recently as 2009, almost 50% of all capital punishment cases could be traced to Caddo.
This was bound to happen given the fact that Caddo County has had several maverick attorneys who have whole heartedly supported capital punishment. The most vocal among this breed of public prosecutors remains Dale Cox who is now the acting District Attorney for Caddo County.
As a young man, Cox was completely against the death penalty. However, after witnessing several horrific crimes in his time as the public prosecutor, he has managed to change his own thoughts on the matter. In fact, he goes so far as to clarify that capital punishment is a form of revenge and retribution that the state seeks on behalf of the victim and the victim’s family.
It comes as no surprise that Cox has been responsible for more than 33% of the death penalty convictions in the county. Currently, in his position as the Acting District Attorney of Caddo County, he remains the most vocal proponent of capital punishment, boldly claiming that more criminals should be killed in Louisiana.
However, Cox is not the only one of his kind. Others of his ilk such as former District Attorney of Philadelphia, Lynne Abraham held a similar stance. Abraham had managed to secure a massive 45 death penalty convictions in the 19 years she was in office. However, since then only 3 convicts have been sentenced to death.
This has made legal eagles stand up and ask if death penalty is not a more personality driven punitive measure that is sought based on the prosecutors and the district attorney’s personal beliefs on the matter and not on the nature of the crime, as it should be.