You claim the death penalty is not a deterrent. Of course not! No punishment is effective unless it is swift, sure and consistent. A far cry, you admit, from the current state of the death penalty. Until life imprisonment becomes a reality in California, the death penalty is the only assurance that convicted murderers won't kill again and again.
Any government that allows such people to go free is not moral. When we demand no retribution for unspeakable wrongs, we cheapen all human life and mock the values we pretend to uphold.