In 1966 Stanworth was sentenced to death for the brutal kidnapping, rape and murder of two 15-year-old Pinole teens, Caree Collison and Susan Box. Their family members are still haunted by the crime.
"He had them strip and Caree ran and he yelled at her if you don't come back, I'm going to kill your friend. She came back and he shot her in the head," a family member said.* * *
Besides Stanworth, the group included Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan, who murdered Robert Kennedy in 1968. Manson and Sirhan were not released, but Stanworth and 50 others were eventually set free.
Among them was Robert Massie, who was convicted of murder in 1965 and sentenced to death. In 1978 he was paroled; eight months later, he murdered a San Francisco liquor store owner. In 2001, after the death penalty was reinstated, Massie was executed.
"Even if they're rehabilitated, they've already done something that can't be undone," Parents of Murdered Children spokesperson misty Foster said. "Those people are never coming back, so how do say their life is only worth 20 or 25 years?"
The anti-death-penalty advocate's statement is typically smug and self-superior:
"I think it's hard for the public to grasp this," UC Berkeley Death Penalty Clinic Director Elisabth Semel said. "People who've been convicted of murder have a better rate of success, that is a lower recidivism rate, than individuals who commit other types of crimes."I am really sick of this "we are soooooo much smarter than the ignorant yokels who favor the death penalty" attitude. The public grasps it very well. It is not about numbers. Given that a murderer deserves death for a particularly heinous murder, any risk at all of recidivism is too much.