Miami is losing its best prosecutor as Abraham Laeser retires after 36 years, reports the Miami Herald. Laeser is credited with sending more men to death row than any other Florida prosecutor. He supervised or handled every homicide case for a decade, beginning in the 1980s, a tumultuous time in Miami’s history that included major street riots, cocaine-cowboy drug battles and the Mariel boatlift.
Prosecuting capital cases may seem paradoxical for a liberal Jew and a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union, but to Laeser it makes sense. Early on in his career, he became enamored with the fight for justice for the people most horribly victimized. His passionate pursuit of capital cases is rooted in his family’s experience during the Holocaust. Laeser lost nine uncles and aunts to the Nazis. For the type of person Laeser has prosecuted, he sees no alternative: ”He’s inexorably broken. He’s killed many people,” he said. “He’s forfeited whatever we think are his God-given rights.”