In the State of California, San Quentin State Prison is where men, condemned to death, are sent and kept for their execution. An ex-warden, who woked here at San Quentin Prison, was a woman. She was warden during four of the executions that were carried out in this prison.
Before each execution, she would ask herself if killing this man would make this world safer. She answered to herself, "No".
It does not work, it is not a deterrent to crime. Nor, is it justice carried out swiftly. It takes years, often more than 20 years, for a man's appeal to be exhausted and maybe given an execution date. Some men do get a favorable decision in their appeal, and are never executed.
The death penalty was re-instated in California in 1977. Since then, only thirteen men have been executed. The first one died in a gas chamber. The rest, by lethal injection. And still, hundreds of men on death row wait, and wait, and wait!
It has been very costly for the State of California to maintain capital punishment. California has already spent billions of dollars just to execute thirteen men. And, the cost is expected to rise.
The cost in humanitarium terms has never been estimated. The family members of the condemned men have to deal with the emotional stress of having someone on death row. Wondering, year after year, whether he will live or die!
In some States that have the death penalty, some condemned men were found to be innocent. Some, who have already been executed, were also found to be innocent. Because of these reasons, some states governments have eliminated the death penalty. Others are considering it. Yet, the complete elimination of the death penalty is not certain. It is just an idea. As long as the death penalty is on the books, it will be carried out!
I have been on death row now going on 30 years. A long time! A long time of not being able to plan for any future, because I do not know if I will live long enough to live out those plans.
The death penalty exists because some people say it is the law. But, in reality, it exists as a form of revenge by the victim's families, and for politicians to use for political gain. Politicians do not care whether a man is executed or not. He just wants to make sure that he is kept in office!
The death penalty was vigorously encouraged and supported years ago. Now, it is just "there". It should be eliminated, so that we can all get back some of our humanity.
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