Jerry Brown says everyone on death row is guilty


I'm glad the governor is so confident that there are no innocent people on death row.

On one level, I don't care -- I'm against the death penalty period, and I don't care how horribly guilty the folks who face execution are. Of course, many of them, probably most, were severely mentally ill at the time of the crimes, but that doens't seem to matter to the gov either.

It's hard to believe, though, that he really knows much about any of these cases, because innocent people have been put on death row, and some have been executed, all over the country. Jerry's California is so special that our legal system never makes mistakes? (Notice that he didn't say no innocent people have been executed; he went way beyond that to say that they're all guilty. Amazing.)


So don't take the bait.

California has an extraordinary set of legal protections in place for anyone given a death sentence and the appeals process is set up to go on for decades, with huge amounts of money funneled through the system to ensure there is no mistake, including an "innocent" person being executed. According to SAFE California, who are advocating for the November initiative to abolish the death penalty in exchange for life without parole, it costs state taxpayers about $184 million per death row prisoner which has to be spent by law before any other needs of the court system are met. While California courts are currently firing clerks and court reporters and the entire human infrastructure that makes it possible for you to file for a divorce, a small claims action, or what have you, the death penalty money scam continues.

That's what you should be writing about, and what Jerry Brown should be focusing on too. Forget arguing morality, let's talk simple economics which happens to be the right thing to do besides.

Posted by sfmike on Mar. 07, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

on that subject from a couple days ago:

Posted by marke on Mar. 07, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

@marke: I was at the same press conference and wrote my own, more intelligible version with better photos:

My point was that Mr. Redmond seemingly hadn't read his own publication and instead was rising to Debra Saunders' troll bait which doesn't help anyone.

Incidentally, I very much liked your American Mavericks Festival preview in this week's issue.

Posted by sfmike on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 8:18 am

was just making sure the link got out there!

Posted by marke on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 8:48 am

than Tim's claim that many -- no wait, make that "most" -- were "probably" severely mentally ill at the time of their crimes. I'm certain that "most" of them "probably" didn't murder, rape, or assault anyone. Just innocent bystanders picked up off the street and sent to Death Row.

Posted by Pat Monk's prostate on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 10:04 am

It amazes me how jerry brown is labeled a "liberal". I've never seen a more arrogant and bigger law and order freak in my life. I wasn't around for his first tenure as governor, but ever since his term as Oakland mayor and AG he's proven to be nothing but a conservative advocating hyper-policing policies and now he's advocating a regressive tax hike that hurts the poor and working classes by raising the sales tax.

Posted by Guest no name on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 10:19 am

The arguments in support of the ballot measure to abolish the death penalty are exaggerated at best and, in most cases, misleading and erroneous. The Act would only make our prisons less safe for both other prisoners and prison officials, significantly increase the costs to taxpayers due to life-time medical costs, the increased security required to coerce former death-row inmates to work, etc. The amount “saved” in order to help fund law enforcement is negligible and only for a short period of time. Bottom line, the “SAFE” Act is an attempt by those who are responsible for the high costs and lack of executions to now persuade voters to abandon it on those ground. Obviously, these arguments would disappear if the death penalty was carried forth in accordance with the law. Get the facts at and supporting evidence at

Posted by CBernstien on Jun. 10, 2012 @ 9:57 am