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Death penalty's many problems

September 04, 2007

Re "Changes to death row are urged," Aug. 30

It is amazing how much time, thought and money go into trying to keep the death penalty in the U.S. alive and well. Now U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Arthur L. Alarcon is proposing a state constitutional amendment that would help speed executions. We are the only Western democracy that has the death penalty. It is time to join the rest of the evolved world and end the death penalty and free ourselves from this costly yoke of trying to make it work.

Nancy Oliveira

San Francisco

This article points out clearly how the Legislature is failing the state. Not fixing the death row gridlock is a major cost to the state's economy. A simple return on investment on the solutions proposed would cry out loudly for fixing the system immediately. One other option to address the issues of delay would be to require that all the public defenders in the state participate in a lawyer pool similar to the selection of jury members. The participation of the state's public defenders in the lawyer-pool program would be an excellent source of training. California also would provide the necessary support for the public defenders with information technology and supporting senior lawyers.

Bernard Merkle

Thousand Oaks

Taking a man out of a cage to kill him is barbaric.

Jerry Bradley

Santa Barbara

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