In the United States, many people see the threat of the death penalty as the ultimate deterrent. After all, is someone going to be willing to put their own life on the line to take one from another? Still, there are others that believe that the death penalty is wrong; citing reasons like the law has no right to take the life of someone else. For convicts in the state of California on death row, they are certainly glad that democracy is still alive and well in this country.
That is because the issue of doing away with the death penalty will be put to a vote by the people of California. The voters will be asked whether the state should drop the death penalty from possible sentencing options. That would leave the 700 or so people living there now being changed to life without the possibility of parole if passed.
So why is California looking to possibly make this change?
According to a Politico article and supporters of the amendment, it is all about saving the state a lot of money. It is something called the Savings, Accountability, and Full Enforcement for California Act, or in shorter form, the SAFE California Act. At the crux of the act, it touts saving California millions of dollars, which anyone in the state knows is needed, with their deficit being one of the worst in the country.
How they get to this savings is a bit interesting. Supporters of the bill surmise that the money will come in via money saved from layoffs of prosecutors and defense attorneys that work these types of cases. Also include in those millions would be not having to take care of the largest death row that the country has. It is interesting in the sense of how it gets there.
Lawyers are being laid off to save money, but at the same time, is this not putting people that work in this system on the unemployment line? It is not just lawyers that help to keep these places running after all. The other reason about not having to maintain these folks on death row is a bit perplexing too. Instead of caring for them for a period of five years maybe, now they will be fed and cared for for the duration of their life.
The supporters also say that some of the money will go to a noble cause as well. Some of the funds would be put towards tracking down criminals in unsolved crimes. In most cases, these would be murder and rape cases. That would be something worthwhile, but it also should be noted that no one has been executed in California the past five years. That is because a judge said that execution apparatus had to be improved for the injections to continue.