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The Dysfuntion of California's Death Row

Do you think prison is hard for those on Death Row? If you answered "yes," than you are not thinking of inmates in California.

Prisoners sentenced to death in California have arguably luxurious suites. Compared to other inmates, those on Death Row get larger cells, more telephone privileges, better "contact-visitor" arrangements, and "more personal-property privileges than ordinary inmates." In fact, the average person sentenced to death costs three times the average prisoner.

Add to this the fact that California is comparatively slow in putting people to death, and you have a real situation on your hands. The problem is so well known, in fact, that convicted murderers are actually asking to be sentenced to death.

From the Boston Globe:

LOS ANGELES - White supremacist gang hitman Billy Joe Johnson got what he asked for from the Orange County jury that convicted him of first-degree murder in October: a death sentence.

It wasn't remorse for his crimes or a desire for atonement that drove him to ask for execution, rather the expectation that conditions on death row are more comfortable than in other prisons and that any date with the executioner is decades away.

Although executions are carried out with comparative speed in some states, capital punishment in California has become so bogged down by legal challenges as to become a nearly empty threat, say experts on both sides of the issue.

Unbelievable.

Cross-linked at Jumping in Pools.


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Comments (23)

"In fact, the average pe... (Below threshold)
914:

"In fact, the average person sentenced to death costs three times the average prisoner."

In other words... "Obamacare."

Where you have sweets</i... (Below threshold)
Webster:

Where you have sweets I am pretty sure you want the word suites.

Thanks for catching that We... (Below threshold)

Thanks for catching that Webster

Another example of why Cali... (Below threshold)
Dan:

Another example of why California is bankrupt but the people of California don't care, they have the rest of America's taxpayers to pay the bill--Pelosi, Boxer, Scharzenegger and Obama will make sure of that.

Only liberals could turn th... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Only liberals could turn the death penalty from a deterrent to a fringe benefit.

The California dusyfunction... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

The California dusyfunction is exactly what you expect when you have a two-term Republican governor coupled with a legislature whose budget process allows Republicans say in the budget.

California spends more on prisons than they do on Universities.

Typical conservative values, run amok after 8 years of Republican rule. California is a shining example of how badly conservative values can destroy the quality of life.

Vic

jesus Vic.. are you really ... (Below threshold)
Ran:

jesus Vic.. are you really that dumb?.. please tell me you're unaware of the fact that the Ca. legislature has Dem for like FOREVER!

VIC's posts are comedy gold... (Below threshold)
howcome:

VIC's posts are comedy gold.

Transfer their asses to Tex... (Below threshold)
Nancy's Nazi:

Transfer their asses to Texas.

I live in California. The D... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

I live in California. The Democrats hold a majority in the state legislature but the Republican governor and GOP legislators have effectively worked together to control the budgeting process - since the budget requires a two-thirds vote.

In order to reach a two-thirds agreement you have to allow republican say - and that's where priorities like increasing funding for prisons while cutting funding for education have gotten skewed.

Democrats do not hold a 2/3 plurality, just a majority.

These things have be explained to the dumb bunnies who make comments like Ran in #7 because they only read right wing blogs and watch Fox News and therefore walk around the world with their heads stuck firmly up the rear ends.

I had always wondered where... (Below threshold)

I had always wondered where Baghdad Bob ran off to after Saddam Hussein's government was taken out. And then I read Vic's delusional comments on Wizbang and the mystery is solved.

"Typical conservative value... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Typical conservative values, run amok after 8 years of Republican rule. California is a shining example of how badly conservative values can destroy the quality of life."

Vic

Typical VIC, head up as as usual.

"Democrats do not hold a 2/3 plurality, just a majority."

Stevie Green

Thank God! Or we'd be getting taxes raised every freaking year!

What Stevie and VIC won't own up to is that Kalifornia is fucked up because of the DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY in the legislature. They've passed nothing more than "feel good" laws over the last several years.

Right now the Air Resources Board is set to pass mammoth legislation calling for the replacement of diesel engines (primarily used in construction work). Guess what segment of industry has been hardest hit in Kalifornia? Guess what segment is about to get horse cocked into replacing diesel equipment?

And those assholes in Sacramento wonder why business is fleeing the state.

Oh, BTW, thanks to a compli... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Oh, BTW, thanks to a complicit court system (along with the liberal lawyers), the average stay on death row in Kalifornia is TWENTY FIVE YEARS!

You've got a better chance of dying of old age before you're ever executed.

"What Stevie and VIC won... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

"What Stevie and VIC won't own up to is that Kalifornia is fucked up because of the DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY in the legislature. They've passed nothing more than "feel good" laws over the last several years."

All of which is an off-topic diversion from the fact that (a) the GOP effectively controls the budgeting process in California for many years and (b) California's spending priorities favor prisons over education.

In fact, California ranks #1 in the nation is prison spending. You can thanks the Republican governor and the Republican stranglehold on the California state budget for that.

Go GOP!

Little Stevie,Wow,... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

Little Stevie,

Wow, You have drunk waaaayyyyyyyyy too much of the kool-aid if you actually believe that the GOP controls the budgeting process in california.

For those whose heads are not shoved deeply up their asses, in California, the Dems write the budgets they want, then go trolling to buy the couple of Repub votes they need to pass it, They usually play off a couple of the RINO's against each other to get the votes as cheaply as possible.

Thanks for playing, Little Stevie, isn't it your nap time now?

California's spending pr... (Below threshold)

California's spending priorities favor prisons over education.

Bull.

Read the PDF here:

http://govbud.dof.ca.gov/BudgetSummary/SUM/1249561.html

30.2% of CA's budget expednitures goes to K-12 Education; Higher Ed. receives 9.7%. So almost 40% of the state's expenditures goes toward education.

Corrections and Rehabilitation receives 7.3% of the the budget.

And dollars to doughnuts says that ratio has been the same for years.

Geezus, it's called Google. Try it.

Peter F. Moron - When I sai... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

Peter F. Moron - When I said California favors funding for prisons over education I was commenting on Victory Is Ours comment.

"California spends more on prisons than they do on Universities."

And they do. What a jackass - you can't even read. Maybe you can Google some reading classes, fathead.

"in California, the Dems... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

"in California, the Dems write the budgets they want, then go trolling to buy the couple of Repub votes they need to pass it, They usually play off a couple of the RINO's against each other to get the votes as cheaply as possible.'

Nope. Pure fantasy. What really happens is that since a 2/3" plurality is needed to pass budget-related matters a few republicans hold out their votes, preventing the 2/3rd number form being reached, and proceed to old the budget process hostage until they get what they want.

Republican Govenor Schwarzenegger whole-heartedly supports the GOP pirates in these efforts.

When I said California f... (Below threshold)

When I said California favors funding for prisons over education I was commenting on Victory Is Ours comment.

And you actually misrepresent what VIC stated:

California spends more on prisons than they do on Universities.

VIC was more accurate than you were in citing "universities"/higher education versus what you said:

California's spending priorities favor prisons over education.

That is dead wrong. The spending cannot be generalized as "education" because the article specifically states higher education:

According to a 2007 report at sfgate.com:

Following the historic growth rates, in fiscal 2012-2013, prisons spending will come to about $15.4 billion a year while overall higher education spending will come to $15.3 billion.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/05/21/MNG4KPUKV51.DTL#ixzz0Z2pq4MIE

And yes, semantics matter.

In the end, you're the real jackass/lazy moron for being so deceitfully inaccurate.

s green they damn EVIL re... (Below threshold)
Marc:

s green they damn EVIL rethuglians... except when they're not.

That;s especially true when it's was the demturds trying to make education cuts in the last cali budget:

Legislative leaders like to growl that it is the other party standing in the way of a budget deal. But often their own rank and file won't come along without just the right nudge. That was the case as midnight approached on June 30.

The usually mild-mannered Senate leader, Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), was seething at a colleague who balked at helping him pressure Schwarzenegger into making billions of dollars in education cuts that had to be signed by the stroke of midnight, when the budget year ended.

Steinberg handed his cellphone to the reluctant Democrat, Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco. On the line was a member of the California Teachers Assn., perhaps the most feared interest group in the state, assigned to pry Yee's vote loose.

It wasn't enough. Soon Steinberg's irritation echoed through the Capitol hallways.

"We don't have time to waste," Steinberg snapped at Yee, as they huddled with a representative of another teachers union, the California Federation of Teachers.

That seemed to work. In the final roll call, Yee voted 'Aye.' In the end, though, it didn't matter. No Republicans would come along. Twelve o'clock came and went, and the proposal withered.

Pssst stevie old boy those EVIL rethuglians SAVED millions to educate YOUR kids.


"California spe... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:
"California spends more on prisons than they do on Universities."

VIC was more accurate than you were in citing "universities"/higher education versus what you said:

California's spending priorities favor prisons over education.

That is dead wrong. The spending cannot be generalized as "education" because the article specifically states higher education

What Steve said isn't "dead wrong" - it's spot on correct.

Schwazenegger's priorities in favoring prisons over Universities shows a clear bias in favor of prisons over education.

Obviously you didn't attend a university, or high school for that matter. Clearly favoring prisons over Universities is a bias against education vs. prisons.

Question: How many morons does it take to prove a liberal is correct?

Answer: This many.

Vic

Schwazenegger's prioriti... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Schwazenegger's priorities in favoring prisons over Universities shows a clear bias in favor of prisons over education.

That ISN"T what he said VIC. You stated it correctly: universities. He stated it incorrectly: education. "Education" is s general word encompassing all aspects of education. The specific comparison of expenditures is prisons to "higher education" (aka: college/universities). K-12 and higher education are separately defined budgets in CA. So stop being retarded and note the subtle but meaningful difference.

Obviously you didn't attend a university, or high school for that matter. Clearly favoring prisons over Universities is a bias against education vs. prisons.

$15.4 billion for prisons vs. $15.3 for higher education. Those are the hard numbers between the two. $100mil to be exact--truly an insignificant in terms of a percentage (less than 1%). So it's truly ludicrous for you to proclaim some kind of "clear bias" exists. It's laughable, really. And 2007 was the first time that prison expenditures surpassed higher ed. in terms of dollars.

Look, you get little argument from me on the state's lack of accountability for where and how those dollars are spent.

Ad blaming all of California's financial woes on The Guv and CA GOPs is a dishonest deflection and attempt to let Dems off the hook and not take equal (or even greater) blame. There's your bias.

So why should a bunch of co... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

So why should a bunch of cold blooded murders and thugs get better treatment then do our own veterans Those muderers dont deserve a luxerious living they should be exicuted and screw liberal jerks




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