This editorial is, to use VP Biden's word, pure malarky. It asserts without support that the murderers on death row are more likely to die of old age than be executed. Nonsense. Although the appeal process is long, the cases are coming down the pipeline. As The Recorder reported earlier this week, California is likely to see a resumption of executions in substantial numbers once the lethal injection litigation is resolved, just as happened in Arizona.
The editorial refers to a "respected" study on costs. Respected by whom? This study is badly flawed, exaggerates the costs of the death penalty, and ignores important offsetting costs of life without parole, including the escalating costs of medical care for aging life prisoners.
The editorial scoffs at the idea that life-sentenced murderers will ever be released. It ignores the fact that the never-parole promise has already been broken with respect to the 17-year-old murderers. Even though some were sentenced to life-without-parole, promising the families they would never have to worry about release, the Legislature passed and Gov. Brown signed a bill to recall those sentences and modify them. Once the death penalty is off the table, the assault on life-without-parole begins.
Far from "visceral notions of revenge," it is the No on 34 position that is based on common sense.