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Judge Still Not Willing to Tell Kraft Defense Costs

Randy Steven Kraft has been sentenced to death, but that hasn’t changed Orange County Superior Court Judge Luis A. Cardenas’ mind about not releasing the defense costs in the case.

Cardenas said Wednesday that until he hears to the contrary from an appellate court, he is not willing to unseal details of the six-plus years of defense spending on the Kraft case until all of Kraft’s appeals are exhausted.

And he knows that won’t happen until Kraft is executed, because if Kraft were to win a new trial, the costs would remain sealed pending that action.

“I’m sure that if Mr. Kraft is executed, and you came to me and demanded that I unseal the defense costs, I’m sure that is what I would do,” Cardenas said Wednesday. “I’ve never said the public does not have a right to know what the costs are. The question has always been when.”

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Cardenas was not the trial judge in the Kraft case, but was appointed to oversee and approve defense spending.


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