Death Row Inmate Resentenced Amid Intellectual Disability Claims

By Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times.
September 1, 2021 Updated: September 1, 2021

A man charged with double murder in 1985 was resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after his intellectual disability deemed him ineligible for the death penalty.   

“The death penalty has been shown to not deter crime, has a history of racial bias, and is fiscally irresponsible,” District Attorney Gascón said in an Aug. 31 statement. “The death sentence imposed against this intellectually disabled person over 30 years ago has been corrected with a sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.”  

Michelle Boyd, an 18-year-old UCLA freshman, and Brain Harris, a 20-year-old sophomore attending Cal State Northridge were kidnapped in Westwood on Sept. 30, 1985, when Stanley Bernard Davis carjacked and murdered them.   

The two Southern California college students were found shot in the head in a field on Mulholland Dr.   

The jury found Davis guilty of murder, robbery, and kidnapping of the students, and he was sentenced to death in 1989.   

In 2003, Davis sought out an appeal for his 1989 conviction to remove the death penalty. He presented over 200 documents sitting he met the legal criteria of an intellectual disability; thus, making him ineligible for capital punishment.   

On Aug. 31, Davis’s fate changed after nearly 30 years as prosecutors approved of his intellectual disability claim. Davis was resentenced to life without the possibility of parole.  

“The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has been in contact with the families of the victims and is providing any and all services as we ensure justice is served in this case.”   

Vanessa Serna is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times.