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The warden's perspective

October 07, 2008

Re "Death row realism," Opinion, Oct. 2

The death penalty issue is not one of safety, as Jeanne Woodford wants us to believe. It is one of fiscal realism.

We need to overhaul the system so that people convicted of murder have a quick review, a quicker re-review, and then a quick and humane death. Why should one penny of my tax dollars go to keeping someone alive who showed such careless disregard for human life? Why can't that money go to education, infrastructure, maybe even more security cameras?

Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. Let's streamline the system, execute the murderers and put the resources toward those who value life.

Douglas L. Hall

Los Angeles

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In asking, "Is the world safer because of what we did tonight?" Warden Woodford and her staff asked the wrong question.

The paramount question, which takes into account the grievances of the victim's family and loved ones, might be: How fair is it that this convicted murderer is able to enjoy sustenance, shelter, entertainment, physical activity and reflection for as long as the letter of the law allows, at taxpayer expense, when the victim lies moldering in the grave?

Mark Aaron

Santa Monica

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It appears that Woodford's mistake was choosing to become a prison warden. Following her philosophy against the death penalty, we would have to build three times the number of prisons to house these monsters, at a cost of many more millions.

I think Woodford missed her calling as a social worker.

Art Hernandez

San Dimas

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Woodford's perspective on executions is a rare window into our capital punishment world.

When the former warden of San Quentin State Prison says the costly death penalty system is a waste of taxpayers' money and does not keep us safer, we should all listen.

Nancy Oliveira

San Francisco

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