Saturday, March 1, 2008

Death-penalty system loaded with racial bias

A bipartisan panel - the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice - is reviewing the evidence of racial, ethnic and geographic disparities and asking what should be done.

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A question I can answer easily - abolish the death penalty. Justice Blackmun stated the case simply and eloquently - the death penalty experiment has failed. California has the largest death row population and takes almost 20 years to carry out an execution. The proposal to involve lower courts in the appeals process has been withdrawn. About one-third of the death row inmates have no legal representation. California is the poster child for why the death penalty is poor public policy. It should follow New Jersey's example and repeal this failed policy.

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