One California budget fix: Abolish death row

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    One California budget fix: Abolish death row






    One California budget fix: Abolish death row

    By Charles Riley
    June 20, 2011: 04:06 PM EDT

    Taxpayers have spent $4 billion since 1978 on California's capital punishment system -- and with only 13 executions to show for it.

    That's about $308 million per execution. And without substantial changes, the state's total bill will expand to $9 billion by 2030, according to a new study by federal appeals Judge Arthur Alarcón and Paula Mitchell, his law clerk and a professor at Loyola Law School.

    The situation is now so severe, voters must choose to pay higher taxes or abolish the death penalty, the authors say. The study's release comes at a time when fiscal policy is a hot topic in California. And the state's $26 billion deficit is already hitting the criminal justice system.

    Gov. Jerry Brown announced in April that he is canceling the long-planned construction of a new housing facility for condemned inmates at the state's infamous San Quentin prison.

    With a backlog of 714 prisoners currently on death row, Alarcón and Mitchell call California's capital punishment system "dysfunctional," and "a debacle."

    The rare comprehensive review of the state's death row costs estimates that prosecuting death penalty cases is $184 million more expensive every year than if those cases had been life without parole prosecutions.

    "Nobody can really with a straight face say this is a system that is working," Mitchell said in an interview. The state attorney general's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Thirty-nine crimes are now punishable by death in California, as voters have repeatedly expanded the program through the state's unique direct voter initiative process.

    The cost of expanding the death penalty was never accurately presented to voters, Alarcón and Mitchell argue. The result is a crawling appeals process that costs taxpayers as much as $300,000 to hire private attorneys for indigent prisoners, the authors say. And despite the big tab, a substantial number of inmates don't have adequate legal representation.

    "The long wait for execution -- which has been over 20 years for each of the five inmates executed in the last 10 years -- reflects a wholesale failure to fund the efficient, effective capital punishment system that California voters were told they were choosing," the report says.

    But Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for victims rights, said California does not sentence too many people to death.

    Instead, the state should work to resolve appeals faster, expand the pool of attorneys who are qualified to handle death penalty cases, and cut down the number of times the penalty phase is reviewed in court, Scheidegger said.

    From CNNMoney.com

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    I've always believed and still do believe that the death penalty of appropriate for certain heinous crimes, especially that involve children, and torturing other human beings, etc.

    But the cost of the legal system for death row is astronomical. It's one of many ways to save.

    Many states are going to cut and snip any cost they can. And as we know, this is likely only the beginning of these austerity programs.
    It's an accurate statement that our current spending will not be increasing the debt We've stopped spending money that we don't have.

    -- Jack Lew, then director of the Office of Management and Budget, in Feb. 16, 2011 testimony before the Senate Budget Committee.

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    Fuck that. Kill them within 3 years and put it on PPV.

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    If they'd actually, you know, kill them at a reasonable time after sentencing, then it wouldn't cost nearly as much.


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    they need to hire a woman that budgeted her household expenses well enough to raise 6 kids on her husband's blue collar salary and have her overhaul the breakdown of just where the money in a death penalty scenarios goes. in the old days you needed a judge, a couple reasonably paid lawyers, a group of honest citizens, and a rope. that should still be good enough.

    a tree would be helpful. must have been some whiny liberal that started the whole build a scaffold bs to make it a quick death.
    Last edited by Little Wing; 06-21-2011 at 09:48 AM.

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    Its a great idea to get rid of it in california due to the fact we dont really have a death penalty.
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    What do you think we should do if we later find out that person who was executed was an innocent? Do you think we should execute the judge, juries and plentiff's families? Just wondering.
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference
    you have never spent the night with a mosquito."
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    i don't think they should execute people unless there is absolute proof of guilt. you can't argue with some man's dna in a little girls corpse etc.

    you don't get what you wish for ~ you get what you work for

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    I agree with LW.

    Kill em all and let god sort em out works too

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cgrant View Post
    I agree with LW.

    Kill em all and let god sort em out works too

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    If you believe in god, don't you think it is god's job to take his life, not ours?
    Last edited by Chubby; 06-21-2011 at 10:47 AM.
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    I agree with LW as well. Generally speaking, California is such a fucked up, retarded state.

    Then again it's why I moved out of California and will NEVER return.
    Last edited by JCBourne; 06-21-2011 at 10:14 AM.


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    I am not trying to be pro or against this, I just don't like hypocrisy.
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    How can anyone justify this states misspending with a straight face?
    $308 mill. per execution? Phuq! That's just obscene.

    This culture of corruption still exists and is as strong as ever.

    Fraud and waste in public spending in California is costing taxpayers billions of dollars. Unlike budget officers in California, who ignore or work to cover fraud and waste, news outlets are reporting frequently on the serious and costly mismanagement in this state.

    Perhaps, it's time we should start at the top and cut of the head of these malfeasant, and sinister politicians, who call you & I, and our parents & their parents greedy!

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    the US and Japan are the only OECD countries that have not abolished the death penalty. after being in use across the globe for many hundreds of years the data shows it simply does not work as a deterrent.

    capital punishment is a budget killer of state and local governments. with high unemployment, inflation and reduced tax receipts from incomes derived from wages CA simply can't afford it.

    historical economic data should always trump ideology but in the US it's the opposite, it's why things will never get better.
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubby View Post
    If you believe in god, don't you think it is god's job to take his life, not ours?
    Was it not god that gave man free will? Are we not judged by god on our use of such? I don't think the "let the rapists run free, god willl get em one day" theory is really going to work out..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cgrant View Post
    Was it not god that gave man free will? Are we not judged by god on our use of such? I don't think the "let the rapists run free, god willl get em one day" theory is really going to work out..

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    Dear Mr. President,

    Please find below my suggestion for fixing America 's economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

    You can call it the "Patriotic Retirement Plan":

    There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

    1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

    2) They MUST buy a new AMERICAN Car. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.

    3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed.

    It can't get any easier than that!!

    P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress pay their taxes..

    Mr. President, while you're at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I'll bet both programs would be fixed pronto!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 258884 View Post
    Dear Mr. President,

    Please find below my suggestion for fixing America 's economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

    You can call it the "Patriotic Retirement Plan":

    There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

    1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

    2) They MUST buy a new AMERICAN Car. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.

    3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed.

    It can't get any easier than that!!

    P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress pay their taxes..

    Mr. President, while you're at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I'll bet both programs would be fixed pronto!
    ^winning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyiron View Post
    Rats need to get hammered too...
    [/CENTER]

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    Quote Originally Posted by 258884 View Post
    Dear Mr. President,

    Please find below my suggestion for fixing America 's economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

    You can call it the "Patriotic Retirement Plan":

    There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

    1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

    2) They MUST buy a new AMERICAN Car. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.

    3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed.

    It can't get any easier than that!!

    P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress pay their taxes..

    Mr. President, while you're at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I'll bet both programs would be fixed pronto!
    Policies you can run on 258884. And I'd vote for you, too!



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    Quote Originally Posted by 258884 View Post
    Dear Mr. President,

    Please find below my suggestion for fixing America 's economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

    You can call it the "Patriotic Retirement Plan":

    There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

    1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

    2) They MUST buy a new AMERICAN Car. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.

    3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed.

    It can't get any easier than that!!

    P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress pay their taxes..

    Mr. President, while you're at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I'll bet both programs would be fixed pronto!
    So what you're saying is that we need to add 40 trillion dollars to our debt? That's a great plan!
    Ron Paul 2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubby View Post
    What do you think we should do if we later find out that person who was executed was an innocent? Do you think we should execute the judge, juries and plentiff's families? Just wondering.
    An apology and some Turtle Wax?

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    Quote Originally Posted by IronAddict View Post
    How can anyone justify this states misspending with a straight face?
    $308 mill. per execution? Phuq! That's just obscene.

    (snip)
    Put the criminals in charge?

    I mean how much does the most expensive bullet cost?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by danzik17 View Post
    So what you're saying is that we need to add 40 trillion dollars to our debt? That's a great plan!


    They asked for 40 million, right?

    I'd retire, buy the car, but stay in my apartment. Sorry, Housing Crisis!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt James View Post


    They asked for 40 million, right?

    I'd retire, buy the car, but stay in my apartment. Sorry, Housing Crisis!
    Fuck yeah!

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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyiron View Post
    Rats need to get hammered too...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubby View Post
    What do you think we should do if we later find out that person who was executed was an innocent? Do you think we should execute the judge, juries and plentiff's families? Just wondering.

    Fortunately, we have DNA evidence. People aren't sentenced to death over circumstantial evidence. If the perpetrator is proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, then the punishment is fitting. The problem is that so many of these people sit on death row for 25+ years. Not saying we should be like China and put a bullet in their head after 30 days because the defendant couldn't prove his own innocence. But, if there were a way to expedite the process, if wouldn't cost the state so much.

    This argument is almost like saying we shouldn't incarcerate anyone because of the cost and the off chance that they might have been wrongfully convicted, both cases are rare.

    And I would agree with LAM, that it is not a deterrent, simply because people who engage in this sort of deviant behaviour, are not our best and brightest and tend to not think any further than 5 minutes into the future. Most of them are quite animalistic and act purely out of emotion and rage. Good riddance to the nonetheless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danzik17 View Post
    So what you're saying is that we need to add 40 trillion dollars to our debt? That's a great plan!
    Yeah that is some funny math he is using though it is a fun idea. If you say grabbed all the people over 62 and did the same, the amount would go down and anyone with a net worth over a million should get a much smaller payment or half lets say. It would be interesting to see something like this happen, most of the money paid out would be returned to the system or re-invested anyways, it could work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAM View Post
    the US and Japan are the only OECD countries that have not abolished the death penalty. after being in use across the globe for many hundreds of years the data shows it simply does not work as a deterrent.

    capital punishment is a budget killer of state and local governments. with high unemployment, inflation and reduced tax receipts from incomes derived from wages CA simply can't afford it.

    historical economic data should always trump ideology but in the US it's the opposite, it's why things will never get better.
    I disagree. If the death penalty is used as it should be, swiftly as in not 20 fucking years to wait, it will be a deterrent. Knowing if you kill someone or commit any of the crimes that can warrant it and will surely die in 18-36 months, that shit will have an impact. I don't see the point of a child rapist being allowed to live or a serial killer for that matter; they should be put out of their own misery as there is no rehabilitation for people like that in my eyes. The US did it right in that it is a states right to choose if they want the death penalty or not. It is also the states right to put laws in place that prevent someone being on death row for an extended period of time.

    People love to be in office so they won't make hard decisions and vote on things like this; term limits is the answer to hard questions like this and LAM is right that until it happens, nothing will change.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oufinny View Post
    I disagree. If the death penalty is used as it should be, swiftly as in not 20 fucking years to wait, it will be a deterrent. Knowing if you kill someone or commit any of the crimes that can warrant it and will surely die in 18-36 months, that shit will have an impact. I don't see the point of a child rapist being allowed to live or a serial killer for that matter; they should be put out of their own misery as there is no rehabilitation for people like that in my eyes. The US did it right in that it is a states right to choose if they want the death penalty or not. It is also the states right to put laws in place that prevent someone being on death row for an extended period of time.

    People love to be in office so they won't make hard decisions and vote on things like this; term limits is the answer to hard questions like this and LAM is right that until it happens, nothing will change.

    Agreed

    Also what is the point of keeping someone alive whom is serving a life sentence, why not just kill them and stop wasting tax dollars to house, feed, and watch them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwrag View Post
    Agreed

    Also what is the point of keeping someone alive whom is serving a life sentence, why not just kill them and stop wasting tax dollars to house, feed, and watch them.
    Again, agreed with that idea. No chance of parole, consecutive life sentences, any of that is just money wasted. If prisoners are not working in the slammer, it is a complete waste of everyone's time and money. Frankly the prisons SHOULD put them to work, pay them a meager wage like $2.50 an hour, then sell what is made or the service they do. That way there is some value add for all parties and the prison can move towards being self sustaining.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oufinny View Post
    Again, agreed with that idea. No chance of parole, consecutive life sentences, any of that is just money wasted. If prisoners are not working in the slammer, it is a complete waste of everyone's time and money. Frankly the prisons SHOULD put them to work, pay them a meager wage like $2.50 an hour, then sell what is made or the service they do. That way there is some value add for all parties and the prison can move towards being self sustaining.
    I agree with putting them to work, but they are already getting payed a roof over there head and food.

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