Readers React

California's death row is out of room. What now?

To the editor: When death row runs out of room, it may be time to look at other options. ("California's death row, with no executions in sight, runs out of room," March 30)

A 2011 study published in the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review revealed that since 1978, California taxpayers had spent about $4 billion more with the death penalty than if those inmates had been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Other studies reveal that if the current system is maintained, there will be a cost of $5 billion to $7 billion more than with just life without parole between now and 2050.

Do we really want to invest in a broken, costly system where death row inmates are dying from old age before they are executed? Does execution really deter crime?

When our education system is floundering for lack of resources, would it not be more cost effective to put the money at the beginning of a life than at the end?

Dorothy Goulah-Pabst, Sherman Oaks


To the editor: Those men and women have been sentenced to die, folks. The only reasonable thing for us to do when death row runs out of room is execute those prisoners.

There is no need for lethal injections, no need for electric chairs, no need for firing squads and no need for endless administrative paperwork. All we need is a single rope and a single branch from a single tree.

Not only would that fulfill the legal judgment that has been passed, it would provide the general populace with a valuable example.

If California were to finally start to execute its killers, fewer Californians would be likely to commit murder in the first place. We owe this to the state of California.

Jake C. Henn, San Diego


To the editor: Anyone who suggests that we execute prisoners on death row sounds cold and unfeeling. I do know that once in a while inmates sentenced to life or to be executed are exonerated, making their imprisonment an awful error.

That said, if we have the death penalty that is designed to "send a message," I humbly suggest we send the message and follow the law that allows prisoner executions.

Phyllis Molloff, Fallbrook

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