Spitzer Law Blog

Spitzer Law Blog

News & Views on Victims' RIghts

Anti-Death Penalty: So It's Really About the State Budget! Really....

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/the-appeal-of-death-row/8662/

Everytime the opponents of the death penalty find a reason to explain why Californians should outlaw the death penalty, they seize upon it.  The only reason the death penalty is so expensive is because  instead of emptying the cells at San Quentin's death row through the use of the death penalty, we continue to fill death row with inmates who will die of old age long before they see an execution date.  Our death penalty process has become such a joke, keeping death as an option in certain capital cases is no longer a certainty.  When anti-death penalty supports continue to guarantee that the system remains broken so that such sentiment against the death penalty continues, its hard to fight back except on moral grounds.  If it did not take from 3 to 7 years to appoint defense counsel for the appeals and the whole process didn't exceed 20 years of judicial review through appeals, maybe voters would have confidence it was working.  It is not.  The Supreme Court cannot review all death penalty cases.  Until we amend the constitution and allow the lower Appellate Courts to review death cases initially, the system will largely remain unworkable.

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