Death Penalty in California is Madness!

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By Ernest Salomon

To D.A. Dudley:

The News-Press reported today that you will seek the death penalty for Pierre Haobsh for his brutal murders of the Han family in Santa Barbara.  In principle, I could not agree with you more that this guy deserves to die, but I do not agree with your decision.  If you succeed in getting the death penalty for this killer and I believe that you will, your office will spend an inordinate amount of time and taxpayer money on it and in the end, he will not be executed in your lifetime!  

The facts concerning the death penalty in California will show that Haobsh will die of old age in San Quentin instead of being executed.  The public needs to be educated and shown how really ineffectual and costly the death penalty is in order for an anti-death penalty initiative to succeed next time..

One of the leaders advocating to end the death penalty is Jeanne Woodford, a former deputy undersecretary and director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the former warden of San Quentin prison.

California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye stated in the L.A. Times that "the death penalty in California is dysfunctional" in its failure to bring about executions. Victims' families' appearances in court for appeal hearings literally go on forever, therefore prolonging their pain and suffering and who in most cases never receive closure for their loss.

Murderers who were sentenced to death, in some cases 35 or more years ago, are still sitting on death row in California through appeal after appeal. More death row prisoners have died from natural causes than have been executed in the last 35 years.

Santa Barbara County has seven inmates on Death row and among them is Malcom Robbins.  He murdered a child in Goleta in 1980 and has been on death row since 1983; 34 years!  Richard Benson: 30 years!  George Wharton: 30 years!  Tommy Martinez: 19 years!  Martin Mendoza: 17 years!  Ryan Hoyt: 15 years! Joshua Miracle: 11 years.  This does not include the previous years that were taken for their trials and convictions.

Death penalty inmates live a more comfortable life on Death Row than general population inmates!  This entire process is madness!

Since 1976, California has executed 13 people, the last one in 2006. This is about one every three years.

Each of the 13 executions has cost California's taxpayers $250 million. California has about 745 people on death row and each inmate there costs $90,000 more, per year, to house than other prisoners, a total of over $65 million a year in extra costs for all death row inmates. An inmate on death row for 25 years costs over $3.5 million just to house in San Quentin.

Each initial death penalty trial costs over $1 million more than a life-without-parole trial. The legal system eats up one-third of its total budget, hundreds of millions of dollars through hearing endless death penalty appeals.

The enormous expense associated with the prosecution of death penalty cases starts with the discovery of the homicide. Many people attribute the costs primarily to the delays following a conviction, i.e., appointment of counsel, appeals, etc. Those expenditures are imposed on the state. The counties bear the costs of initial investigation by law enforcement, District Attorney, appointed defense counsel and their investigators, psychologists and psychiatrists, court personnel, jurors (and their employers) -- all of which are multiplied from the norm of "ordinary" criminal prosecutions as a result of a potential verdict of death.

The death penalty should be replaced by a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Of the over 4,700 men and women sentenced to life without possibility of parole in California, few, if any, will ever be released.  

If desired by the people of California, an exception for the death penalty could be made for serial killers, for killers who have committed murders with extreme cruelty and murderers of children. In these most heinous of cases, the appeals process would move much faster than it does now, because the courts would then have relatively few death penalty cases to review, rather than the over 700 death penalty appeals that now clog the entire California judicial system.

Convictions of life without parole are far easier to obtain and there is the important safeguard that no innocent person would get executed. Families of murder victims would get faster justice and their emotions would not be on a rubber band.

California Chief Justice Sakauye and former San Quentin Warden Woodford are both tough, hard-line advocates of the criminal justice system, but they realize the failure of the death penalty.

I urge all my fellow citizens and you to take the time to review the staggering total costs of billions of tax dollars involved in death penalty cases, even though we have over 745 inmates on death row and it has only been imposed 13 times in the last 35 years.

The last ballot initiative to end the death penalty in California failed to pass.  When the people in our state become educated and then realize why the death penalty is not a death penalty at all, then the next initiative to end it will pass!

With regards,
Ernest Salomon


September 9, 2017 - DA Seeks Death Penalty in Han Murder Case

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Roger Sep 11, 2017 06:01 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

I don't mind being no better than the killers I had no choice and my family sent me away they never liked me again they were all scared of me and still are so I don't mind straping the whole lot of the sorry bass turds into a wood chipper and turn it on I'll do it for free so California won't have to pay anyone the outrageous fee they pay just give me a two way bus ticket a cupa coffee ot two even steven...I should have left that maggot kill me than my family would have at least grieved for me but instead I went to the nut ward and there was nothing wrong with me...

a-1550543628 Sep 11, 2017 09:38 AM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

LOU: Everything is relative! The prison has become over burdened by the huge death row population. Yes, their cells are mostly 8X10 and they are not the Ritz! The newer death row facilities are better than the older ones. These people are essentially housed one to a cell and it is not "solitary confinement" as such. They are not mixed in with the general population and are never in danger of inmate violence. They receive special physical and mental care and are not abused. They themselves are responsible for their many cases of decades of incarceration because of the convoluted appeals system that they themselves pursue, appeal after appeal after appeal. Ernie

a-1550543628 Sep 11, 2017 09:03 AM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

If anyone deserves to die, it is this guy, but, as a "civilized" society, I don't believe in the death penalty for anyone. It is time to rise above and do the right thing and lock this guy away for life.

Flicka Sep 11, 2017 06:56 AM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

No doubt about this guy being guilty of a heinous crime. The problem with the death penalty in general is so many innocent people have been released from there in recent years because DNA proved them innocent. Last year 2 brothers, one on death row, were released (after 30 years) because of DNA testing. It's more than likely innocent people have been killed with the "death penalty" in the past.

oceandrew Sep 11, 2017 11:37 AM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

Demanding the State murder people charged with murders makes us no better than the murderers themselves. Does stealing from a thief make you less of a thief? No. And given how many corrupt prosecutions have resulted in the false imprisonment of innocent victims it's even more important to tread very carefully and err on the side of justice rather than vengeance.

Resident Sep 11, 2017 06:09 AM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

The biggest question that remains unanswered is - Why are so many lengthy and costly appeals allowed? After the trial one appeal to the CA Supreme Court should be enough. And that should happen within a short time period after the trial. Then carry out the execution. Justice delayed is not justice.

lss Sep 11, 2017 03:01 AM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

Ernie, According to this article, living on San Quentin's death row is a living hell. One inmate describes it as living in an 8-by-10 dog kennel. These housing arrangements don't seem all that comfortable to me. Lou

a-1550543628 Sep 09, 2017 08:58 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

Info on both initiatives (one to speed up death penalty)------------------------------------------------------------ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Voter turnout was 75%. I respect that. (tried to make breaks in text, made a mess)

a-1550543628 Sep 09, 2017 08:53 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

Prop 62, Repeal Death Penalty; Make Life In Prison Max Sentence -----------------------------------typical geographic divide on the vote: ANSWER VOTES PCT. Yes 5,352,985 46.4% No 6,189,455 53.6 MAP:------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

a-1550543628 Sep 09, 2017 08:30 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

Rex: At this time and as your write "the death penalty is the will of the people of California". The reason that I question D.A. Dudley asking for it is because the history of the death penalty in the last 41 years, and especially in the last 11 years strongly indicates that it will not be carried out. The longer the existing moratorium of the death penalty lasts, the less chance that California will ever execute anyone again. Ernie

Roger Sep 09, 2017 07:49 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

I'm sorry I know how vicious someone could be I got raped as a kid I'm not saying this so anyone will feel sorry for me I'm saying it because this punk did not think twice about shooting a 5 year old baby in the head in front of her parents acouple days before her birthday if I were the Sheriff he would have died long ago. One of the maggots that raped me died I see your points and I still am for death it's my opinion and I'm entitled to it as you are for yours... I have always been for Frontier justice I always will be.

REX OF SB Sep 09, 2017 07:08 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

Regardless of how Mr. Salomon thinks, the death penalty is the will of the people of California, and by not prosecuting this as a death penalty case, Ms. Dudley would be derelict in her duty. She is simply following the law of the state.

420722 Sep 09, 2017 06:17 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

If we could kill all the inmates on death row and make a new law that says anyone sentenced to death has to be euthanized within one month of sentencing then maybe crime would go down maybe people would think twice about heinous crimes. I also agree that we should not waste money on his D-bag.

a-1550543628 Sep 09, 2017 05:48 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

Roger: Four points for your consideration> 1) No guilty life without parole prisoner in California has ever been released! 2) Death row inmates live a "quasi-luxury life" in prison compared to the general San Quentin prison population. 3) The appeal review demands on the judicial system slows down our entire court system and forces longer time frames and delays to await a court date for all of us, criminals and non-criminals alike. There are a limited number of judges, staff and courtrooms available and one third of these alone are taken up by the death penalty and its never ending appeal system! Then, there is the huge cost as well. 4) All this and more for 13 executions in the last 41 years and none in the last 11!

a-1550543628 Sep 09, 2017 05:23 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

Hang him, de capitate him, feed him to wolves! Cut him up in little pieces. Do it in one week after being sentenced!

a-1550543628 Sep 09, 2017 05:20 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

It's easy to want to see this man executed, I understand. I've contemplated how I'd feel; what I'd want if a member of my family was murdered. Regardless of the American jurisprudence principle of innocent until proved guilty, he appears guilty. But it is a MATTER OF PRINCIPLE. I cannot support the death penalty when it is misused in the USA. ONE IS TOO MANY. "To date, 351 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 20 who served time on death row." "On September 3rd, 2003, based on Dr. Blake’s results, the court vacated Yarris’s conviction and he became the 140th person in the United States to be exonerated by postconviction DNA testing – the 13th DNA exoneration from death row. "

Roger Sep 09, 2017 04:17 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

I did not shoot a child in the head several times acouple days before her birthday in front of her parents so No I'm not on death row. I'm all for death row it might be a waste to some but to me even if they don't get nuked it pretty much guarantees that they will never get out of the joint...Where if they get a life sentence there is always a way out...With death row it's DNA it's pretty much sewed up he did it....There is not much of a difference of supporting on death row vs supporting life in prison except maybe someday these maggots will get to feel the same terror they torchered their victims with.

oceandrew Sep 09, 2017 03:05 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

I agree with Ernest entirely. The death penalty serves no purpose except a political one. District Attorneys look tough during re-election and the public can feel they got their vengeful pound of flesh. Except that the death penalty does not serve as a deterrent. Are there fewer heinous murders because of it? Do criminals think twice before committing heinous crimes? Heck no. Most don't even think they will get caught so far be it for the death penalty to make a would be murderer stop in his tracks and think about what he's doing.

a-1550543628 Sep 09, 2017 02:55 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

Mike: Agreed! This guy should be executed! But-do you believe that sitting on death row for decades and living a better existance than the rest of the prison population is torture?

running_mike Sep 09, 2017 02:28 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

I am all for seeking the death penalty in this case. The feeling just knowing you are on "death row" will be torture and something constantly on his mind. As for the cost, Santa Barbara likes to waste money on everything and raise taxes to cover it.... this seems like a good place to put some to use.

a-1550543628 Sep 09, 2017 03:13 PM
Death Penalty in California is Madness!

Mike, technically we're all on death row. Does it make us lead better lives? More quickly learn from our mistakes? Make our lives matter more? Does the prospect of dying make us take better stock and make better decisions until then? No matter what we do or don't do we're still all going to die at some point.

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