Before we ask the state legislature to overrule the voters and repeal the death penalty (“Get rid of it,” Letters to the Editor, Nov. 13), perhaps we should consider the effect that would have on plea bargains and long trials that never had to take place.
On Nov. 8, Jared Lee Loughner, who shot Gabrielle Giffords and murdered others, pled guilty in exchange for life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Unabomber Ted Kaczynski was turned in by his brother and took the same deal without a trial. Hillside Strangler Kenneth Bianchi testified against his cousin and co-killer, Angelo Buono, Jr., and both murderers were permanently taken off the streets. Traitor-spies Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen also cooperated with the authorities to avoid the death penalty.
It is very common for prosecutors to offer something less than the death penalty when multiple killers are involved, and it would be a crime to take that option off the table.
Also consider that when murderers are sentenced to life imprisonment, what incentive is there for them to stop killing while in prison?
For the above stated reasons, this issue should not only be seen from the point of view of the convicted murderers, spies and their attorneys. California voters correctly voted in favor of keeping the death penalty in California.
James L Jacobson