Ellen Kreitzberg was quoted in a Mercury News article about Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s announcement that his office is dropping the pursuit of the death penalty, easing up on dog-piling charges on defendants, putting a more watchful eye on police misconduct, and further backing away from prosecution of minor crimes highlight an array of reforms that Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen says he is instituting in the wake of national dissatisfaction with the criminal justice status quo galvanized by the police killing of George Floyd.

Ellen Kreitzberg, a Santa Clara University law professor and death-penalty expert, said Rosen’s plan “started an important conversation about race and the criminal justice system,” and his “clear acknowledgement of the racial injustice within the system is a necessary first step to be able to implement real reform.” She also commended Rosen’s death penalty shift, but said she wants to see him go ahead with corresponding re-sentencing.

“Since the moratorium is, by definition, a temporary status, we hope the DA will consider changing the sentences of those already on death row from Santa Clara County,” she said. “It seems that would be consistent with his belief that it is not a morally defensible form of punishment.”