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Jailhouse informants: Judge won't rule out death penalty in Dekraai case

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Scott Dekraai, accused of killing eight people in a Seal Beach beauty salon, listens while his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders, addresses the court during a motion hearing in Santa Ana on March 18, 2014.
AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Mark Boster, Pool
Scott Dekraai, accused of killing eight people in a Seal Beach beauty salon, listens while his attorney Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders addresses the court during a motion hearing in Santa Ana, Calif., Tuesday, March 18, 2014. The hearing is underway to address the public defender's allegations of a widespread, unconstitutional jailhouse informant program that he feels affects the case of his defendant. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Mark Boster, Pool)

A Southern California judge has refused to order the district attorney's office to recuse itself or to take the death penalty off the table in the case of a man who admitted killing eight people at an Orange County hair salon.

Earlier this year, 44-year-old Scott Dekraai pleaded guilty to killing eight people, including his ex-wife, three years ago at a hair salon in the city of Seal Beach in Orange County. However, his lawyer argued that he should not get the death penalty because prosecutors used jailhouse informants to build their case.

Following a months-long investigation into these allegations, a Superior Court judge ruled this morning that prosecutors did engage in misconduct, but that those findings should not affect DeKrai's sentencing.

We talked to Alexandra Natapoff, professor at Loyola Law School, about the case.

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