Re "Close race on death penalty" (Page A1, Sept. 25): The reason to vote for Proposition 34 is that the system of capital punishment that we have now in California does not effectively provide justice to the victims, their families or the larger society. The safeguards that have been accepted by society and the courts to minimize chances of executing an innocent person result in delays of years, decades and lifetimes.
And here is the point: Even if we vote in November to keep capital punishment, the people of the state and our courts won't let us become Texas, let alone China, as a few may wish. And therefore we will continue to pay in many ways for the lack of justice inherent in our current system.
For the most heinous crimes, let's replace this ineffective system with life without possibility of parole, which is what 17 states and many democratic countries now have.
-- Stuart Pettygrove, Davis
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