Thursday, April 28, 2011

Brown Cancels Plans to Build New Death Row

The SF Chron reports:

Gov. Jerry Brown announced today that he is dropping plans to build a new $356 million Death Row at San Quentin because of the state's budget crisis.

In a released statement, Brown said canceling the project - which has been in the works since 2003 - would save the state hundreds of millions of dollars. He said spending that money on a new Death Row while making budget cuts in other services would be "unconscionable."

"At a time when children, the disabled and seniors face painful cuts to essential programs, the state of California cannot justify a massive expenditure of public dollars for the worst criminals in our state," Brown said. "California will have to find another way to address the housing needs of condemned inmates."

The new Death Row would have been able to house up to 1,152 condemned inmates. There are less than 700 people in state prison who have been sentenced to death.

Faithful readers may recall some twists and turns with the plan to rebuild death row. The construction was given the green light by former governor Schwarzenegger, but these plans were then halted through the efforts of progressive lawmakers that argued against the expenditure. The question is, of course: What now? Sixteen states have abolished the death penalty, several of them recently for cost reasons (humonetarianism at work here.) Governor Brown, would you like to save more money for our children, disabled and senior citizens? Join those states and abolish the death penalty.

Props to Christoffer Lee for the link.

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