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CAL VOTERS TO VOTE ON DEATH PENALTY

April 24 2012 at 6:33 AM
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CAL VOTERS TO VOTE ON DEATH PENALTY
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[SIZE=7]HUFF POST SAN FRANCISCO
April 24, 2012

"SAN FRANCISCO A measure to abolish California's death penalty qualified for
the November ballot on Monday.

If it passes, the 725 California inmates now on Death Row will have their sentences converted to life in prison without the possibility of parole. It would also make life without parole the harshest penalty prosecutors can seek.

Backers of the measure say abolishing the death penalty will save the state millions of dollars through layoffs of prosecutors and defense attorneys who handle death penalty cases, as well as savings from not having to maintain the nation's largest death row at San Quentin prison.

Those savings, supporters argue, can be used to help unsolved crimes. If the measure passes, $100 million in purported savings from abolishing the death penalty would be used over three years to investigate unsolved murders and rapes.

The measure is dubbed the "Savings, Accountability, and Full Enforcement for California Act," also known as the SAFE California Act. It's the fifth measure to qualify for the November ballot, the California secretary of state announced Monday. Supporters collected more than the 504,760 valid signatures needed to place the measure on the ballot.

"Our system is broken, expensive and it always will carry the grave risk of a mistake," said Jeanne Woodford, the former warden of San Quentin who is now an anti-death penalty advocate and an official supporter of the measure.

***"
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My posting of this article is intended to create discussion of the two major points raised by the article:
1) The worthiness of a statutory means afforded Californians to decide an issue by means of a vote of its people,
and
2) whether you believe the death penalty should be continued in your state or should be abolished.

Your response?

 
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KeithDB
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Re: CAL VOTERS TO VOTE ON DEATH PENALTY

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April 24 2012, 7:05 AM 

I fully support the death penalty.  In fact, I sincerely believe we should abolish our preoccupation with a sanitized and painless death for the perp.  They should be put to death in a fashion as closely as is practical approximating the experience of their victim.  My views are more fully discussed here:  http://www.network54.com/Forum/594658/thread/1243803078/The+Death+Penalty

 



"The world is a mess and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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Re: CAL VOTERS TO VOTE ON DEATH PENALTY

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April 24 2012, 8:52 AM 

I fully support the death penalty. In fact, I sincerely believe we should abolish our preoccupation with a sanitized and painless death for the perp. They should be put to death in a fashion as closely as is practical approximating the experience of their victim. My views are more fully discussed here: http://www.network54.com/Forum/594658/thread/1243803078/The+Death+Penalty

Keith
=====================================================================

And I tried to abolish my state's death penalty but failed because of the bars set by the mechanism that was in place.

I have not closely examined the subect for a decade or so, but when I last did so all the studies showed that the death penalty increases rather than decreases homicides subject to the penalty.

Your views remind me of hose of a French publicist who, during the French terror, strongly supported the terror until he was arrested and placed in tumbril under sentence of death by the Committee on Public Safety.

Enroute to the guillotine he cried continuously, plead for his life, and decried death sentences.


 
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KeithDB
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Re: CAL VOTERS TO VOTE ON DEATH PENALTY

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April 24 2012, 10:32 AM 

It's not about me.

 



"The world is a mess and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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JEL1945
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Re: CAL VOTERS TO VOTE ON DEATH PENALTY

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April 24 2012, 12:39 PM 

I completely disagree Keith. I prefer life without parole because it makes for correction when the wrong person is convicted and it's cheaper. Nothing worse then executing the wrong person IMO

 
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Re: CAL VOTERS TO VOTE ON DEATH PENALTY

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April 24 2012, 2:09 PM 

I prefer life without parole because it makes for correction when the wrong person is convicted and it's cheaper. Nothing worse then executing the wrong person IMO

Jel
==================================================================

I often sense that our thinking is closer than our posts may show.
I was once familiar with our state, and had some knowledge of other prison systems, and I have a record of having made a strong effort to reform such systems and to better the training, protection and pay of our guards, etc.

Like you I oppose the death penalty and prefer life without parole because "it makes for correction when the wrong person is convicted and because it's cheaper. Nothing worse then executing the wrong person IMO"

Thus, I also prefer life without parole for the reasons you have stated, and also becauser there are those who should never be released back into the general public.

I also prefer life in the most heinous cases, for our mostly part time parole boards are too often political hacks whose judgment is questionable,
and who, if qualified, do not have the time, facilities, etc.,
to determine who should be released back into the general public.

And I believe in prisoner's being required to work for their keep and being paid, if helping to produce a profit, a small wage for their work---

An example of what might be done is what Texas was doing fifty or more years ago and before the federal judges decided that because they wore a black robe they were the best judges of how prisons should be run.

I also believe that in a legislative debate Keith, who I believe does not always favor as hard a stand as he sometimes takes, would be amenable, upon study and due consideration, to the passage of a life without parole bill, but might not agree with the belief some hold that "life without parole" should be subject to legislative review of a bill seeking to modify such a sentence---something, given politics, that would be very unlikely to happen.

I am no stranger to crime prevention and criminal detention, and, as I suspect is true in yur case, can claim to have some practical as well as an academic understanding of the subject.


 
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Patrick
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Re: CAL VOTERS TO VOTE ON DEATH PENALTY

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April 24 2012, 2:57 PM 

Against the death penalty, and always will be. The death penalty is the most expensive punishment in America. Also, when mistakes are made, you have no way of compensating the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

 
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Re: CAL VOTERS TO VOTE ON DEATH PENALTY

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April 24 2012, 6:50 PM 

Right you are Patrick, and may God bless you for many will not.


 
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Re: CAL VOTERS TO VOTE ON DEATH PENALTY

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April 24 2012, 6:55 PM 

A survey of state institution prisoners was done by a leading university of my home state. It asked state prisoners, among other things, what the prisoners would most like to have done to benefit them while they were in prison. I do not remember the figures but the response strongly favored decent work programs

short termers sought work programs that would enable them, or better enable them, to make a living on the outside,
and long-termers opted for work programs that suited their abilities and/or wishes.

All wanted to be paid a stipend if their work produced a profit over and above the cost of their imprisonment.. Most wanted beneficial work programs whether a stipend was paid or not.

To understand those responses you might need to witness inmates playing chess by using a string to drag a chess or checker board back and forth betwen locked down cells, etc.

I, and others, walked through cell blocks and talked with prisoners who were locked down. And I even walked alone through the yard accompanied by guards who were positioned far away and in such manner as to not intimidate inmates or overhear our conversations. The prisoners were pitifully eager to cooperate with any program that might better their lot as prisoners and that would help them when they got out. Guards were as willing as the prisoners to cooperate with our group and their imput was similar to that of the prisoners and did much to help to create a reality for us.

A well run prison system can provide food, clothing and shelter for the system and for other state eelymosynary systems as well. Texas had such a system until the federal courts it took over and rather than reform the system---for it was profit based and profit run and needed some reformation---but the federal courts in their ignorance, and relying on the advice of the ignorant, simply abolished the Texas system leaving everyone the loser.

At that time---the 1950's--- California had entered into its "country club" period; one that did nothing to benefit anyone.

The findings of the group I worked with were given consideration and a master plan for reform was prepared by Doctor Jack Rhodes, a Harvard graduate a great and practical and humane man, and the unofficial director of the project. The Ford Foundation had worked with our group and provided it with much help in the form of research, preparation of studies, etc., and it fully approved and endorsed, but did little, if anything, to help to put the plan into effect.

The findings and the plan were praised by the press and by many leading "authorities" on prison reform, but nothing was done to benefit the prisoners other than to start making a payment of cash to them upon their release --- rather than giving them a cheap suit of clothing---just enough cash, as I well remember, to insure they could buy a bus ticket that would take them out of the state---and so almost all of them left prison with no option other than to return to the envirronment from whence they had come---and as they were when they entered prison---

"and now you know the rest of the story"***.



 
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