Over 500,000 California voters have signed a petition that has put a measure that would abolish the death penalty on the November’s ballot. If the death penalty is abolished in California family and friends of victims of murders will not get the justice they deserve.
Although California has executed only 13 people since the death penalty was re-introduced in 1978, the state should not abolish capital punishment. The problem with the death penalty is in the way the courts deal with those on death row.
Supporters of the bill say the massive amounts of money spent in courts on appeals, stays, and other things used to delay executions are reasons for abolishment of the law. By taking people convicted of first-degree murder off death row and giving them life in prison, will this really lower the cost to the taxpayer?
Prisons are already packed in California; the focus should be put on speeding up the death row process.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center as of the beginning of the year there were 723 inmates on death row in California and 3,189 in the United States. No inmate has been put to death in California since 2006.
By law families of victims and a few other people are able to view executions to confirm the death of the person. Families of murder victims have the right to verify that a person who hurt their relative has been put to death.
Take for instance Anders Breivik, the 33 year-old Norwegian who is on trial for the killing of eight people in a bombing in Oslo, and the shooting and killing of another 69 people, mostly teens at a nearby youth camp.
Norway abolished the death penalty years ago, so Breivik is facing only 21 years in prison, maybe longer if the government decides to make exceptions to the laws. Breivik himself called his potential punishment “pathetic” in court and said that acquittal or death should be the only outcome in his trial.
California is well known for violent crimes. The death penalty is a just way of dealing with the worst of society. There is little reason to change someone’s death sentence to a life sentences. California has not seen anything like that of the Norway massacre, but letting these types of criminals survive is unjust.
A person that has purposely and violently taken a life of another should loose the right to live. The state needs to revamp the death row process, not abolish the practice.
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