Tuesday, July 22, 2014
A federal judge in Southern California has said that the death penalty in California is unconstitutional, on the grounds that it causes cruel and unusual punishment. I think that it is about time for such a decision, with well over 400 people (mostly male "minorities") on "death row". There is probably still a majority of voting Californians who approve of the death penalty, despite the views of most state legislators, etc. Although I personally oppose the death penalty, I continue to believe that this is a decision for the majority of voters. However, when I read that it may take as long a twenty-five years to exhaust all the appeals and other delays, I agree with the judge's reasoning. Most developed countries have done away with the death penalty. If it needs to be retained in the USA, there also needs to be a limit to delays because of appeals, etc. I don't expect such legislation to pass, and so I strongly hope that the judge's decision will hold up against any appeals.