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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Reader reluctantly accepts governor’s death penalty moratorium

Gavin Newsom
In this March 13, 2019 photo California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses his decision to place a moratorium on the death penalty during a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento. This week a Burbank man writes to express his opinion on the governor’s decision.
(Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

I had a dear friend and employee (also a wife and mother of a 2- year-old son), who was raped and brutally murdered in 1988 by a man who was captured the same night, then tried and convicted on solid evidence against him and sentenced to death in 1990.

When Governor Newsom ended the capital punishment penalties of all California death row inmates my first reaction was extreme anger that the killer of my friend was being spared the penalty a jury rightly meted out to him so long ago.

I’ve come to reconsider my reaction, however, since I now accept that there was never going to be another execution in California. The governor is simply recognizing this stark reality and making the cost-saving move to eliminate the huge taxpayer burden of continuing to keep the death penalty charade in our state going on.

I have agonized for nearly 30 years over the killer of my friend being sentenced to die and then sitting in his cell without even one execution being scheduled. His lawyer never even tried to appeal the conviction. With his fate of life without parole seemingly set there is a sort of exhausted resignation I now feel, knowing it’s the closest thing to justice I’m ever going to get.

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Doug Weiskopf

Burbank

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