Kelvin Wade (Feb. 21 “California’s death row sham”), outlines his frustration but falls short in explaining the real “shame.”
The issue with California’s death penalty is the constant volume of frivolous lawsuits that have nothing to do with innocence or guilt. Certain judges, politicians, medical associations, pharmaceutical companies, international groups and federally funded groups (such as the American Civil Liberties Union) put California’s death penalty in their litigation crosshairs on a daily basis; all driven by their personal bias while ignoring guilt, law of the land and the will of the people.
This has forced California to change its lethal injection protocol from three drugs to one. This is because the sole manufacturer in the United States of sodium thiopental took a stand against the death penalty and is no longer willing to produce the drug. California found another supply of sodium thiopental and a federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled the drug was brought into the United States without FDA approval and stated that “the drug could be harmful.”
This is one example of the constant volume of litigation that delays and adds to the costs. A solution is to have our state Legislature put limits on these frivolous lawsuits and put time restraints on how long a death row inmate has to prove his/her innocence: seven years. Create a panel of judges who do nothing but handle death penalty appeals, freeing the large backlog currently before the California Supreme Court.
Life without the possibility of parole is a myth with false expectations. Look at Dennis Stanworth, whose death sentence was overturned to life, only to be paroled, to allegedly murder again. For as long as the murderer of a loved one is still alive, filing appeals, having organizations attempting to free him/her and sitting in prison with a life sentence, there is no peace.