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Death's cost

August 08, 2009

Re "Tough on corrections," Editorial, Aug. 3

In line with your editorial, abolishing the death penalty in California would save more than $100 million each year, according to the 2008 report of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice. Life imprisonment without possibility of parole could remain in place for our worst murderers at a far lower cost than the decades-long legal extravaganzas that taxpayers now fund to decide who should live or die.

Freeing our courts from these capital-intensive spectacles would set our prosecutors and police free to promote real deterrence by raising clearance rates for murder -- in many counties, only about 50% -- and using redirected funds to reopen and solve cold cases.

It's not the murderer alive on death row or behind bars for life that hurts you; it's the one still out on the street.

Margo Schulter

Sacramento

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