Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ending Death Penalty in California Will Create Other Willie Hortons

Next week, California voters must decide Proposition 34 that repeals the death penalty and replaces it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Passage will apply retroactively to the many people currently on death row. Proponents claim that passage will save about $130 million dollars, which the state spends annually to fight the many appeals these murderers are currently entitled to, and for the first year, earmark $100 million of it for law enforcement grants. Instead, why not have a proposition to reduce the many number of appeals convicted murders are entitled to? (California’s current method of administering capital punishment is death by old age.) I’m convinced there will never be such a thing as “life imprisonment without the possibility of parole” in California as long as there is a substantial Democratic majority in the legislature and left wing Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in charge. Just a month ago, Gov. Brown couldn’t wait to sign a bill that gave convicted vicious juvenile killers the opportunity to have their “life imprisonment without the possibility of parole” sentences reduced to 25 years. What makes anyone believe Gov. Brown wouldn’t sign another piece of legislature to mandate that these convicted killers receive furloughs, like another liberal loony Gov. Michael Dukakis (D- MA) did in 1987? That decision allowed convicted first degree murderer Willie Horton to walk out of prison for a furlough. This gave him the opportunity to break into a Maryland home, tie up the man, stab him 22-times, and rape and slash his wife during a twelve hour period. When the husband finally freed himself, he called police and Horton fled in the couple’s family vehicle. When the police caught up with Horton, he exchanged gunfire with them before he was eventually arrested. The trial judge in Maryland refused to return Horton to Massachusetts fearing Dukakis would release him again. Instead, he sentenced Horton to two life sentences. California has the potential for a perfect storm of crime with screwy liberals in charge, coupled with Proposition 34 and Proposition 36. The latter substantially waters down the State’s highly successful three-strikes law and would apply to already convicted three strikers. It seems soft-on-crime liberals are offended that career criminals are deprived of the opportunity of victimizing others in their old age. Again citing costs, the proposition would allegedly save $70 million annually in reduced prison costs. As far as I am concerned, this is money well spent. Proponents of Proposition 36 say that the current law has sent third time convicted persons to prison for 25 years to life for non-violent, non-serious felony convictions. So? Currently, the pursuit of a third strike conviction rests with prosecutors who have used their discretion wisely. Passage of this proposition would take that discretion away from them and give these career criminals an opportunity to victimize people over and over again. Who is to say what a non-violent or non-serious felony is? By definition, all felonies are serious. If a street gangster shoots at me and misses, is that considered non-violent because I wasn’t hit by the bullet? I can just see a defense attorney arguing to a court that his client shouldn’t be sentenced under the three strikes law because, “he didn’t kill anybody.” Pure bred liberals like Michael Dukakis and Jerry Brown will always pull out their ACLU cards to trump the will of the people in favor of their ideologies. Dukakis was so anti-punishment that during the debates with George H.W. Bush, he refused to hypothetically sentence to death someone that would rape and murder his wife. Propositions 34 and 36 are just the beginning of the dismantlement of time-tested ways of reducing crime by making criminals accountable for their actions. I fear that first degree murderers will eventually be released despite mandated “life imprisonment without the possibility of parole” sentences. That’s because current California leadership believes that criminals aren’t responsible for their actions, you are.