April 25th, 2012, 3:25 pm
Posted by Teri Sforza, Register staff writer
We told you recently about a stunning study which found that putting a condemned prisoner to death in California cost $308 million per man.
“Executing the Will of the Voters? A Roadmap to Mend or End the California Legislature’s Death Penalty Debacle ” had unusual authority, written as it was by folks from both sides of the debate: U.S. 9th Circuit Judge Arthur L. Alarcon, who has prosecuted death penalty cases, and Loyola Law School professor Paula M. Mitchell, who argues against them.
Both agreed that the system in California is horribly broken, and in dire need of reform; and hundreds of thousands of Californians apparently agree with them.
Our colleague Martin Wisckol told you yesterday that a measure to repeal the death penalty in California had gathered enough signatures — more than half a million — to qualify for the November ballot. Instead of death, the convicted would face life terms without the possibility of parole.
Capital punishment’s supporters say death is a strong deterrent to crime; capital punishment’s detractors say it’s barbaric, and a colossal waste of money. Alarcon and Mitchell said this:
“Since reinstating the death penalty in 1978, California taxpayers have spent roughly $4 billion to fund a dysfunctional death penalty system that has carried out no more than 13 executions,” they say. ”The current backlog of death penalty cases is so severe that most of the 714 prisoners now on death row will wait well over 20 years before their cases are resolved. Many of these condemned inmates will thus languish on death row for decades, only to die of natural causes while still waiting for their cases to be resolved.
To read entire story, click here.