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Death Penalty Costs

March 08, 1992

I am outraged that the U.S. Supreme Court has just denied Robert Alton Harris' petition for review. This puts California on the verge of an execution for the first time since 1967.

I am personally opposed to the death penalty for many reasons, such as the illusion that it is a deterrent, its bias toward minorities and the costs incurred on a death penalty case.

The death penalty costs much more than a sentence of life in jail with no chance for parole due to the costs incurred in a lengthy appeal process that is necessary to avoid executing an innocent person.

Life without parole is an option in California, and it should be used instead of the death penalty. According to the Sacramento Bee, the state of California could save $90 million a year if the death penalty were abolished. As a student, I know exactly where $90 million can go to better use, education.

Wouldn't it make more sense and benefit society to use this large amount of money for a constructive use such as education, rather than a destructive one such as death?

Society demeans itself by killing people. We don't rape the rapists, or burn the homes of arsonists. Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?

KEVIN GAFFNEY, San Diego

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