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Death penalty wastes resources

On the ballot for next week’s election is Proposition 34, to repeal the death penalty. Perspectives both for and against the death penalty are controversial and can’t help but involve people’s personal moral and religious views.

Though one of the best arguments for repealing the death penalty in California is financial.

Voting yes on 34 would mean that no offender in California would be able to be sentenced to death. Those whose crimes might have been punishable by death instead would be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Additionally, if the measure is approved on Nov. 6, the 524 death row inmates currently would have their sentences changed to life without parole as well.

Additionally, anyone who is or has been given life imprisonment would have to work while in prison and have his or her wages subject to deductions that would be redirected to any victim restitution fines or orders against them.

As of now, only 1 percent of death row inmates pay restitution to their victims or their families. With the money they receive, they would be able to pay any added expenses the inmate caused them because of his or her crime.

With Proposition 34 enacted, the state hopes to redirect $100 million in grants to local law enforcement agencies over the next four years.

This money will aid in paying for quick processing of DNA tests along with facilitating more homicide and sex offense investigators in hopes of solving cases at a faster pace and bringing more criminals to justice.

Forty-six percent of homicides and 56 percent of rapes go unsolved every year.

Many people think that the death penalty costs less than life imprisonment, but the fact is that death penalty trials are 20 times more expensive than life imprisonment trials.

There are a variety of reasons for this; one reason for the expense is because death penalty trials can also take up to 20 years to conclude.

Along with using up the courts’ time in those 20 years, it also ties up law enforcement involved in the case, limiting the amount of time they can dedicate to new cases. Since the reinstatement of the death penalty in California in 1978, only 13 people have been executed and have cost the state $4 billion in related spending, while most death row inmates die of old age.

Given all of this, we hope you will vote “yes” on Proposition 34 on Tuesday.

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