District Attorney Doug Moreau said the dinners were more recognition for hard work and long hours than reward for obtaining a death verdict.
"We know what it is," said attorney Benn Hamilton, who represented a client who received the death penalty. "It is crude. It is morbid. It is an inappropriate use of public money."
Mike Mitchell, who directs a public defender's office said, "I don't think they go out to dinner on every case. If it's not to celebrate the death penalty, I don't know what it's for."
In fact, the DA's office did not spring for a steak dinner after the one capital case in 1998 in which the defendant escaped the death penalty by one vote.
Source: Associated Press
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