Last updated on: 9/13/2011 | Author:

Arthur L. Alarcon, LLB Biography

Senior Judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“Our research has revealed that $4 billion of state and federal taxpayer money has been expended administering the death penalty in California since 1978, with a cost in 2009 of approximately $184 million above what taxpayers would have spent without the death penalty… These totals do not include the additional funds the state is poised to spend to maintain the current broken system…

In cases in which a defendant faces a maximum penalty of life without the possibility of parole, rather than the death penalty, there is no penalty phase trial at all. Thus, the government would not incur these costly expenditures if the death penalty were abolished…

The costs associated with death penalty trials that took place between 1983 and 2006 averaged about $1 million more per trial than the costs of average non–death penalty homicide trials. This conclusion is also supported by the fact that there are several significant, easily identifiable costs incurred in every death penalty trial that are not incurred in non–death penalty homicide.”

Cowritten with Paula M. Mitchell, JD, “Executing the Will of the Voters?: A Roadmap to Mend or End the California Legislature’s Multi-Billion-Dollar Death Penalty Debacle,” Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, June 2011

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Senior Judge, Ninth Circuit, US Court of Appeals, 1992-present
  • Recipient, Honorary Doctor of Laws, Southwestern Law School, 2007
  • Adjunct Professor, Loyola Marymount School of Law, 1993-1994
  • Adjunct Professor, Southwestern University School of Law, 1985-present
  • Judge, Ninth Circuit, US Court of Appeals, 1979-1992
  • Associate Justice, California Court of Appeal, 1978-1979
  • Superior Court Judge, Los Angeles County, 1964-1978
  • Chairman, Adult Authority (California Parole Board for Adult Men), 1964
  • Career Executive Secretary, Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, 1962-1964
  • Legal Advisor, Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, 1961-1962
  • Director, Special Study Commission on Narcotics, 1960-1961
  • Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County, 1952-1961
  • Private practice attorney, 1952
  • Staff Sergeant, 94th Infantry Division, US Army, 1943-1946
  • LLB, University of Southern California, 1951
  • BA, University of Southern California, 1949
  • Attended UCLA
  • Recipient, Purple Heart
  • Recipient, Bronze Star
  • Born Aug. 14, 1925 in Los Angeles, CA
  • Baptized at La Placita Church, Los Angeles, CA
  • Fan of UCLA Bruins football team