Two Excellent Responses to Yolo Cnty D.A. Jeff Reisig's OpEd on the Death Penalty
- When District Attorney Jeff Reisig submitted his op-ed in support of the Death Penalty, he probably had no idea the response it would trigger. Oh sure, the Vanguard's response was a given. But unlike his string of unanswered press releases, many of which have distorted the facts of the case and even the jury's verdicts and were reprinted verbatim without response, the op-ed generated considerable response.
First, Yolo County's Public Defender, then two letters to the editor from citizens, then a brief commentary by Cosmo Garvin in the Sacramento News and Review. This weekend we saw and pointed out commentary from Deputy Public Defender Richard Van Zandt and an editorial from the Woodland Daily Democrat, which does not mention the Reisig piece, but comes out decidedly against the death penalty.
So far, no one has stepped forward to defend the Yolo County District Attorney. More importantly, surprising voices, perhaps, have come out against him. To us, the silence speaks volumes, but the voices speak even louder.
The early endorsement of Proposition 34 by a moderate paper like the Daily Democrat is an interesting indication of where Prop 34 is going.
This is not a moral argument by the paper, rather they argue: "Never mind moral arguments; the death penalty simply doesn't work. Since it was reinstated in 1978, California has spent $4 billion on just 13 executions. We are no safer."
Instead they argue: "Passing Proposition 34 will leave $180 million more per year in the general fund, where it can be spent on preventing crime rather than retribution: Improving schools, for example; it's not straight-A students who pack jails. Of that amount, $30 million would go to law enforcement to help solve more homicide and rape cases. That's surefire crime prevention, locking up the bad guys."
More at the link