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Letter to the Editor: Vote No on Proposition 34

Patch would love to publish your letters to the editor. Send your missives to sheila.sanchez@patch.com.

The death penalty has gotten a bad rap through the ages as cruel and unusual punishment.

However, the most commonly used execution method is the lethal injection, which delivers a painless death.

The execution methods are so safe that when flaws were found in the injection, instead of continuing to use it, they halted capital punishment.

The death penalty has still not been reinstated.

My supposition has said that with capital punishment, you have a chance of executing the innocent, but, as Mercury News reporter Howard Mintz’s Oct. 25 article about Proposition 34 says, the measure's advertisements are fabricated.

Proponents of Proposition 34 used someone who never was on death row.

The appeals process for the death penalty cases spans years, so the innocent are discovered.

If the proponents of Proposition 34 had found a viable case, they could have used actual cases where the executed were found innocent.

Vote no on Proposition 34, a repeal of the death penalty. It’s the right way to go.

Poot October 29, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Not to offend, but there are plenty of cases nationwide where people on deathrow have been found innocent only because of DNA evidence, proving that innocent people do get sentenced to death. Is the suggestion here that only innocent people are sentenced to death if they leave DNA evidence behind to later be absolved? Sorry, but sometimes there just is no DNA evidence, so the "there are plenty of appeals, so the innocent are discovered," doesn't hold up... after all, they were initially found guilty and sentenced to death--the innocent didn't do too well that time around. And besides that, it's considerably cheaper to sentence someone to life without parole than it is to pay for endless appeals and then have the person die of old age on death row, which is how most of them come to an end anyway. And the author's claims that the pro-34 ad's claims are "fabricated" is a lie. I suggest you click on that link and read the story for yourself. To continue executing people based on the fact that the author didn't like the ad is absurd.
Bob Goedjen October 29, 2012 at 06:24 PM
It will not save money although the proponents say it will, as the so called savings is already earmarked for other purposes. It also takes away one of the most effective bargaining assets for DAs. This is key in cases where there are co conspirators or others involved it is key in getting information. You are taking that away so I would suggest crime will increase. Clearly our system is based on deterents and this is one fo the largest.
Chris Bernstien October 29, 2012 at 06:36 PM
No “full enforcement” as 729 inmates do not receive penalty given them by jurors. Also, for the 34,000 inmates serving life sentences, there will be NO increased penalty for killing a guard or another inmate. They’re already serving a life sentence. Efforts are also being made to get rid of life sentences. (Human Rights Watch, Old Behind Bars, 2012.) This would lead to possible paroles for not only the 729 on death row, but the 34,000 others serving life sentences. On 9/30/12, Brown passed the first step, signing a bill to allow 309 inmates with life sentences for murder to be paroled after serving 25 years. Life without parole is meaningless. Remember Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan. Convicted killers get out and kill again, such as Darryl Thomas Kemp, Kenneth Allen McDuff, and Bennie Demps. Arguments of innocence bogus. Can’t identify one innocent person executed in CA. Can’t identify one person on CA’s death row who has exhausted his appeals and has a plausible claim of innocence. See http://cadeathpenalty.webs.com/
Chris Bernstien October 29, 2012 at 06:36 PM
The 729 on death row murdered at least 1,279 people, with 230 children. 43 were police officers. 211 were raped, 319 were robbed, 66 were killed in execution style, and 47 were tortured. 11 murdered other inmates. The arguments in support of Pro. 34, the ballot measure to abolish the death penalty, are exaggerated at best and, in most cases, misleading and false. No “savings.” Alleged savings ignore increased life-time medical costs for aging inmates and require decreased security levels and housing 2-3 inmates per cell rather than one. Rather than spending 23 hours/day in their cell, inmates will be required to work. These changes will lead to increased violence for other inmates and guards and prove unworkable for these killers. Also, without the death penalty, the lack of incentive to plead the case to avoid the death penalty will lead to more trial and related costs and appeals. No “accountability.” Max earnings for any inmate would amount to $383/year (assuming 100% of earnings went to victims), divided by number of qualifying victims. Hardly accounts for murdering a loved one.
Chris Bernstien October 29, 2012 at 06:36 PM
A jury of 12 people & a judge confirmed for each inmate that their crimes were so atrocious and they were so dangerous that they not only did not deserve to live, but they were so dangerous that the only safe recourse was the death penalty. Recognizing how dangerous these killers are, the prison houses them 1 person to a cell and does not provide them with work, leaving them locked in their cells most of the day. Prop. 34 wants to ignore all of this and save $ by placing these killers in less-restrictive prisons where they share cells. They also want to provide them opportunities for work, where they have more freedom, access to other inmates and guards, & more chances to make weapons. Prop. 34 also destroys any incentive for the 34,000 inmates already serving life without parole to kill again. There would be no death penalty. They are already serving a life sentence, so why not get a name by killing another inmate or a guard? Prop. 34 also takes away the money for inmates to challenge their convictions. If innocent, they will spend the rest of their life in jail, celled with vicious killers. Prop. 34 will cause more deaths of innocent people– guards and people wrongfully convicted but no longer able to fight it in court. And they refer to Prop. 34 as the SAFE Act!

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