The Sacramento Bee’s Editorial Board came out in support of death penalty repeal this week for the first time in the newspaper’s 155 year existence. In Sunday’s editorial, they outline the many flaws with the death penalty, arguing that it is a system that cannot be fixed and therefore, must be abandoned and replaced with life without parole.
The article highlights the lengthy process between conviction and execution, and the toll this takes on murder victims’ families as well as the extreme financial burden it places on taxpayers. While there are currently 729 inmates on California’s death row, there have only been 13 executions since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1992. Although death penalty proponents argue that the process could be expedited, the Board warns against the dangers of doing so. “Yes, California could change its laws and increase spending to carry out the death penalty more expeditiously. But we might do so at the risk of executing an innocent person- arguably the worst miscarriage of justice imaginable.”
The newspaper also admits that the death penalty has not been shown to deter crime as was once believed. They urge Californians to vote “yes” on Proposition 34 this November to end the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life without parole. The Bee joins many others who have traditionally supported the death penalty in calling for its abolition. “The death penalty in California has become an illusion, and we need to end the fiction- the sooner the better,” they write.
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