Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 26
Keep the death penaltySanta Maria
A recent opinion piece in the Sun stated the passage of Proposition 34 would save money and help victims by ending the death penalty in California (“End the death penalty,” Aug. 30). It will not.
If $308 million was spent on each of the 13 executions that have taken place since 1978, where did that money go? The money went to trial lawyers, psychologists, and other legal experts who forward appeals to the California Supreme Court, which result in retrials, additional convictions, additional appeals, etc, etc. The problem is not the death penalty, but the dysfunctional system that benefits trial lawyers and California legislators who won’t change the system. Don’t surrender to this!
If Proposition 34 passes, it will end the death penalty as a punishment in California, but the current manipulations are too lucrative to discontinue. Trial lawyers will devote their time and energy to appealing the new maximum penalty—the life sentence. Appeals will continue, retrials will continue, and the cost savings touted by Proposition 34 will never materialize.
Proposition 34 may let murderers back on the street. At present, a murderer facing the death penalty can bargain for a life sentence and never see the streets again. Under Proposition 34, a murderer facing a life sentence can bargain for a lesser charge and eventually be released after serving the sentence.
Of the prisoners currently on death row in San Quentin prison, 126 tortured their victims before killing them, 173 murdered children, and 44 murdered police officers; 343 juries decided they deserved execution.
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