“Tough on crime types” who have long favoured the death penalty are starting to speak out against the punishment, the Wall Street Journal reports. Former supporters of the death penalty still think it is a fair punishment and even an effective deterrent, but they just don’t think it’s worth the cost of years-long appeals for death row inmates.
“It costs an obscene amount of money,” Gil Garcetti, a former prosecutor in Los Angeles who once supported the death penalty and now opposes it, told the Wall Street Journal.
A 2011 study found that California has spent $4 billion on the death penalty since it was reinstated in 1978, and in November voters in the state will consider a referendum to do away with the punishment altogether.
Those in favour of the death penalty are pushing the argument that the death penalty is too pricey for a state burdened by so much debt, Bloomberg reported Monday.
That argument has worked in the past, according to the Journal. Former California Judge Donald McCartin became a major critic of the death penalty later on in his life – mostly because it was so expensive.
Before he opposed the penalty, the Journal reported, he was known as the “hanging judge of Orange County.”
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