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The death penalty has been a "colossal failure." Donald Heller told the New York Times of California's 34 year experience under the law that he wrote.
O'Donnell: "Do you really think it is okay to lay off school teachers so the state can afford to kill people?"
At one time I favored a death penalty for heinous crimes where there is no doubt of the guilt. I thought our government could do this responsibly. It cannot and does not. When I served on a felony jury last summer, it even more convinced me that juries don't get all the evidence and emotions do weigh in which if you want a fair legal system, they should not. So now I'd say we have a problem with our whole legal system and can't afford to take the chance of executing anybody. Maybe humans never could do it right. Our governor has said he won't let any be executed in our state. We need to change our laws also to make it impossible for any governor to permit it as sometimes it's a travesty of justice. Anytime it's more costly than a life sentence-- in a lot of ways. BUT it does have to mean life, not parole. One reason Oregon voted to bring it back was the murderers who had gotten out, those who had committed heinous crimes, and they did do it again.
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