Re "Execution moratorium declared," Feb. 12
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's move to place a moratorium on his state's death penalty deserves the close attention of California Gov. Jerry Brown, who should follow suit by enacting a similar moratorium while he is in office.
Such a declaration would not only send a clear message that the death penalty is an outdated, inhumane and unworkable method of punishment, it could also immediately save millions of tax dollars, including those going to our beleaguered prison system, where the cost of housing death row inmates is dramatically higher than that of housing other inmates.
Killing has a steep price, regardless of who engages in it or the belief that it furthers a righteous cause.
The writer is a criminal defense attorney.
From a purely rational perspective, the primary problem with the death "penalty" is that it's not really a penalty at all. We are all born, we live, and we die all the same.
The fact is that dead is dead, whatever your species might be. An executed felon is therefore made to suffer no more. His victims may continue to hurt, but he's not around.
Is that what we want?
I insist that the worst possible punishment is life in prison without the possibility of parole. I have some problems with that, because I can't help thinking that every living creature, however degraded, has the possibility of salvation within him. But if you're wanting to make the evildoer suffer, sticking him into a cell for the rest of his life most certainly beats oblivion.