death row

DA's Office Agrees to Re-Sentence Last Man on Death Row out of SF to Life

A 67-year-old man is serving a 47-years-to-life sentence instead of the death penalty.

California Death Row

The office of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin has agreed to take a man serving time in San Quentin State Prison for a 1986 murder off death row, Boudin announced Tuesday.

Boudin's office has agreed to re-sentence Stanley Bolden, 67, to serve a 47-years-to-life sentence in instead of the death penalty in exchange for forfeiting any pending legal challenges to his sentence, Boudin said.

Bolden, who has already served 34 years and is currently at San Quentin, is the last remaining person on California's death row out of San Francisco.

Back in 1991, a jury found Bolden guilty of first-degree murder and robbery with the special circumstance of murder in the commission of robbery for the death of 1986 homicide of Henry Michael Pedersen.

Boudin called the death penalty "barbaric" and said he hoped Bolden's re-sentencing will encourage prosecutors in other places to follow suit.

"In recent years, an increasing number of Americans -- and San Franciscans -- have come to recognize that the death penalty is not only undeniably cruel and inconsistent with the values of a human society, but also fails to deter or prevent crime," Boudin said in a statement. "My office has not sought and will not seek the death penalty, and I am pleased that we have been able to ensure that no one previously sentenced in San Francisco will remain on death row either."

Boudin said his office's move is consistent with an executive moratorium on the death penalty placed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last year.

Under Bolden's resentencing, the 67-year-old won't be eligible for parole until he's 79 years old. If a parole board agrees to his release, statistics show Bolden would be highly unlikely to reoffend by that age, Boudin's office said.

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