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Still Waters

California vote on abolishing death penalty

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Voters in California are to be asked whether they want to abolish the state's death penalty law.

The measure will appear on November's ballot after more than 500,000 people signed up to back the proposal.

The measure would see death row inmates have their sentences commuted to life.Just 13 people have been executed since the law was re-introduced in 1978.

Backers say abolition could save California $100m (£62m) per year, but opponents say justice would be harmed.

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Wow! I am really happy to see this. I hope it passes and more states follow suit.

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All moral arguments aside its a financial no brainer. Now im not great at math but it seems like 100M x 34 years = 3,400,000,000/13 executions = $261 538 462 per execution. IS my math right there? It can't be..... someone would have HAD to notice this by now right?

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Backers say abolition could save California $100m (£62m) per year, but opponents say justice would be harmed.
But no inmate has been put to death in California since 2006, and a respected study in 2009 noted that the state was spending some $184m each year to keep death row and the death penalty infrastructure up and running.

I'm wondering where this comes from. Clearly, to me at least, executing someone is less expensive then feeding and housing them. What does an electric chair cost, or a lethal injection?

Oh so it is about the costs of special housing. And facilities. So... just put the convicts in general population. And scrap the extra facilities and just kill them in the infirmiry. There, saved California 200 million and saved the Death Penalty.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/studies-costs-death-penalty-california

An update of a study by the ACLU of Northern California on the costs of the death penalty found additional expenses due to a net increase in the size of death row. The analysis found, “The 11 new additions to death row add almost $1 million to the annual cost of housing people on death row, now totaling $61.2 million more each year than the cost of housing in the general population. . . . The recently approved state budget also includes $136 million in funds to begin construction of a new death row facility, a project that will cost more than $400 million to complete.” The state has been facing the largest deficit of any state in the country and has had to cut numerous other programs.

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I'm wondering where this comes from. Clearly, to me at least, executing someone is less expensive then feeding and housing them. What does an electric chair cost, or a lethal injection?

Oh so it is about the costs of special housing. And facilities. So... just put the convicts in general population. And scrap the extra facilities and just kill them in the infirmiry. There, saved California 200 million and saved the Death Penalty.

I agree with this. Death penalty inmates should be treated the exact same as normal inmates, then when their appeals all fail they're simply escorted to the right location to be put down. There's no reason it should be so expensive. I'm sure most prisons have a dedicated physician that can take care of any lethal injections, and if I remember right the lethal injection drugs themselves only cost about $70 per execution.

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All moral arguments aside its a financial no brainer. Now im not great at math but it seems like 100M x 34 years = 3,400,000,000/13 executions = $261 538 462 per execution. IS my math right there? It can't be..... someone would have HAD to notice this by now right?

Well, they are not putting many people to death, but they have a lot of people on death row. So, you could look at it that way, but it isn't really accurate.

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I agree with this. Death penalty inmates should be treated the exact same as normal inmates, then when their appeals all fail they're simply escorted to the right location to be put down. There's no reason it should be so expensive. I'm sure most prisons have a dedicated physician that can take care of any lethal injections, and if I remember right the lethal injection drugs themselves only cost about $70 per execution.

Then you run into the same problems we see with putting nonviolent short sentence offenders in with violent long sentence offenders, but worse. What wouldn't a prisoner do if they were certain they were going to die and who wouldn't they take down with them? It would probably end up costing more money in the long run.

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The cost of executing someone is more about the tortuous appeals process. I heard (don't know if it's accurate) that it costs more to execute someone than keep them in prison.

It's interesting that the focus tends to be on cost more than any moral arguments.

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Then you run into the same problems we see with putting nonviolent short sentence offenders in with violent long sentence offenders, but worse. What wouldn't a prisoner do if they were certain they were going to die and who wouldn't they take down with them? It would probably end up costing more money in the long run.

I suppose that is true. But, why would they be certain they are going to die??? California has killed less then 1 guy per year, with the last in 2006. While hundreds of Death Row inmates are just waiting. If anything Death Row inmates would believe they're almost certainly going to be commuted to Life.

These guys are basically Lifers for violent crime anyway. So stick them in the High Security general population. They don't need to be in isolation. Treat them just like as if they had been commuted to a Life Sentance and then if their appeals wear out, kill them.

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The cost of executing someone is more about the tortuous appeals process. I heard (don't know if it's accurate) that it costs more to execute someone than keep them in prison.

It's interesting that the focus tends to be on cost more than any moral arguments.

I think that is generally true, because I think that those with Death Penalties get more appeals. It is the lead up to the execution that costs more then merely housing them.

http://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001000

The arguement that I see if that the Death Penalty cases, due to the number of reviews and proceedings, costs a lot more then a conventional court case. And this cost is so much extra, that it eclipses the greater amount needed to house those who are sentanced to Life Without Parole. But, I think that if we just clipped the last of the appeals off the end, and housed them in general population, we'd see the cost be the same as other prisoners.

These people were convicted of killing... usually brutally... or with premeditation... extensive planning... another human being. Why do we need to molly coddle them for 10 or 12 years with review after review, and appeal after appeal to be absoloutely sure they are guilty. Personnally if they failed the 1st appeal, I'd have them executed. And then if it turns out they were falsely executed, I'd have the state give their Next of Kin 10 million dollars.

We'd see the Death Penalty be a deterent then. And yet if.... if someone was unfairly killed, they get like a X10 life insurance settlement. I've only ever heard of a handful of people getting off the Death Penalty and set free (Found innocent) on appeal. Many are commuted to Life, and I'm OK with that. But they did kill someone and we should not treat that with kid gloves.

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So what's been the driving force behind this vote? Is it primarily financial or are there moral objections?

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Connecticut becomes 17th state to abolish death penalty

I agree with DieChecker, why the heck is there such a lengthy appeals process for killers anyway?

I agree as well. I see no reason why cold-blooded murderers, child molesters/kidnappers, rapists and others can't be executed within a year or two.

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I do. If a single innocent person is put to death then that makes the state and the entire population it represents murderers. If you're putting somebody to death then you have to be ABSOLUTELY certain.

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I do. If a single innocent person is put to death then that makes the state and the entire population it represents murderers. If you're putting somebody to death then you have to be ABSOLUTELY certain.

Which is a near impossibility, so executions, even for someone like those that raped and murdered the mom and two daughters by burning them to death in Connecticut, would be disallowed... even if they had confessed. And if that seems like the most moral route then what happens when the same convict, knowing he's in for life and cannot be executed, kills again on the inside? It happens..... No, I think if all appeals are exhausted and the case has been reviewed then execution is not immoral, it's justice.

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While I am not opposed to the death penalty... I do wish someone would find a failsafe way of ascertaining true guilt or innocence ... Unfortunately that resides well within the realm of sci-fi at this time...

In cases where faulty (or malicious?) forensic methods are used to attain a conviction, those investigators need to be punished fully... I would like to see that the very first step - following a conviction - is an independant verification of DNA and other forensic evidence (maybe this already happens - I don't know)...

Just my $.02

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Which is a near impossibility, so executions, even for someone like those that raped and murdered the mom and two daughters by burning them to death in Connecticut, would be disallowed... even if they had confessed. And if that seems like the most moral route then what happens when the same convict, knowing he's in for life and cannot be executed, kills again on the inside? It happens..... No, I think if all appeals are exhausted and the case has been reviewed then execution is not immoral, it's justice.

It's never really for justice, it is for retribution. I really think the death penalty should be reserved for crimes against humanity.

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