Voices from California's Death Row

Charles E. Case

I have always been in favor of the death penalty and after spending twenty years on this death row I am more favor than ever. So I would probably be in favor of the “Death penalty Reform and Savings Act. “

You are asking for my opinion of “The Justice that Works Act” so I will respond to that. If you feel that anything that I might say in this letter you might want to use on your website you can use my full name.

 I would not like to see “The Justice that Works Act” passed because that would change the death penalty to a Life Without a Parole. In my opinion, that is a horrible sentence. In my case since I am 76 years old, I really don’t care what happens. But some of these guys are in their 20’s and 30’s and life without parole could mean that they could spend the next 40, 60 or 60 years in some prison.

In that case, those inmates would have nothing to lose if they killed some other inmates or a correctional officer. What happens if he should kill again while in prison, would another life sentence make him a better person? I think not.

Another thought to consider, in 1975 there were seven prisons in California. Now there are at least 33 prisons in this state that some say are over flowing. If this death penalty is changed to Life without parole that means that twenty or thirty years from now there will probably be fifty prisons. How many prisons would you like to build in this state in order to hold just he inmates serving life sentences? Will more prisons save the taxpayers more money? I think not.

Will a prison with several thousand inmates and all of those inmates are serving life sentences be a safe prison for the prison employees? Not hardly.

You folks don’t seem to know a whole lot about how prisons work. Do you really think that you can pass laws that will force inmates that are serving a life without parole to work?  That ain’t possible folks.

Inmates work so they can get good time credits and get out of prison sooner. Inmates serving a life sentence do not get any good time. Some inmates will work just to pass the time or to learn a trade but most of the inmates serving a life sentence are not going to work.

From Charles E. Case