Why is California Rushing to Kill Albert Brown?

California has not put anyone to death in nearly 5 years.  Litigation around the state’s lethal injection procedures has led to a de facto moratorium on executions.  But that moratorium may come to a sudden end this Wednesday, when Albert Greenwood Brown is scheduled to be killed shortly after midnight.

The legal issues surrounding California’s method of killing its prisoners have not been fully resolved, yet the state is asserting that executions should be restarted anyway.  But what for?

California has by far the nation’s largest death row, with over 700 inmates, and soaks its taxpayers for upwards of $100 million per year for the privilege of having a death penalty.  Over $800,000 was spent on a new lethal injection chamber which contains two things – a gurney and a clock.  And hundreds of millions more are going to build a new death row. Capital punishment in California (and elsewhere) is a money pit.  Millions of dollars get tossed in, but nothing good ever comes out.

California taxpayers are beginning to see the death penalty for what it is – a colossal waste of resources.  For a state that doesn’t even have a budget and is currently furloughing workers, devoting such time and energy (and money) to killing a few prisoners who are already locked up for life is not just pointless and cruel.  It also diverts scarce resources that could be directed towards proven crime prevention measures and real support for victims’ families.

At the heart of the controversy that has halted executions in California is the question of how a state can kill its prisoners in a sufficiently humane way.  Of course, there is no answer to that question, because killing prisoners is inherently inhumane.  The sooner the state of California recognizes this fact and does away with its death penalty, the sooner they will be able to focus on policies that actually do some good.

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22 thoughts on “Why is California Rushing to Kill Albert Brown?

  1. Thanks. And now I feel sad that Teresa Lewis has lost her will to live because she is killed by the state of Virginia for murder in spite of her bordering on mental retardation and the fact that she was the manipulated, not the mastermind. May God be merciful to her soul. :cry: *plays "Lament" from "Evita" and "John 19:41" from "Jesus Christ Superstar"*

  2. Thanks. And now I feel sad that Teresa Lewis has lost her will to live because she is killed by the state of Virginia for murder in spite of her bordering on mental retardation and the fact that she was the manipulated, not the mastermind. May God be merciful to her soul. :cry: *plays “Lament” from “Evita” and “John 19:41″ from “Jesus Christ Superstar”*

  3. What a sad day in Virginia, which has violated the Atkins v. Virginia law (that is supposed to prohibit the execution of the mentally disabled) twice. This time it has killed Teresa Lewis for the murder of her husband and stepson in spite of her bordering on mental retardation and of the fact that she was not the mastermind that Virginia STILL claims her to be, even after her death! TRULY AWFUL AND HORRIBLE! First Holly Wood (Alabama), and now Teresa! I feel that justice was TRULY lost, raped and gone because Virginia's governor Bob McDonnell and the U.S. Supreme court denied her clemency! I'll bet that Virginia is now thanking and saluting its governor for "a job well done in sending another cruel monster and mastermind to hell", which is total idiocy! People may STILL claim that "through the fires of hell justice is served," but I say that justice is still languishing in the fires of hell! Still, no matter what, we will NEVER give up hope in abolishing the death penalty. At least Teresa's stepdaughter forgave her of her crime, and I truly hope Teresa made her peace with God before she died. May she and her husband and stepson rest in the justice and peace that had long been denied for them on earth. :cry:

  4. What a stupid question! The man has been on death row for 30 years, yet California is RUSHING to kill him? He's been alive 25 years too long.

    As for the $100 million per year to maintain a death row, it would cost only a fraction of that if California actually USED the death penalty. Death Row in California is a joke.

    When Scott Peterson was sentenced to death, his parents grieved, but realistically, Death Row is the safest place on the planet for Scott. In the prison population he would have already been killed. He can look forward to a long and boring life where he is. Odds are he'll die of boredom before he ever sees a needle.

  5. What a sad day in Virginia, which has violated the Atkins v. Virginia law (that is supposed to prohibit the execution of the mentally disabled) twice. This time it has killed Teresa Lewis for the murder of her husband and stepson in spite of her bordering on mental retardation and of the fact that she was not the mastermind that Virginia STILL claims her to be, even after her death! TRULY AWFUL AND HORRIBLE! First Holly Wood (Alabama), and now Teresa! I feel that justice was TRULY lost, raped and gone because Virginia’s governor Bob McDonnell and the U.S. Supreme court denied her clemency! I’ll bet that Virginia is now thanking and saluting its governor for “a job well done in sending another cruel monster and mastermind to hell”, which is total idiocy! People may STILL claim that “through the fires of hell justice is served,” but I say that justice is still languishing in the fires of hell! Still, no matter what, we will NEVER give up hope in abolishing the death penalty. At least Teresa’s stepdaughter forgave her of her crime, and I truly hope Teresa made her peace with God before she died. May she and her husband and stepson rest in the justice and peace that had long been denied for them on earth. :cry:

  6. What a stupid question! The man has been on death row for 30 years, yet California is RUSHING to kill him? He’s been alive 25 years too long.

    As for the $100 million per year to maintain a death row, it would cost only a fraction of that if California actually USED the death penalty. Death Row in California is a joke.

    When Scott Peterson was sentenced to death, his parents grieved, but realistically, Death Row is the safest place on the planet for Scott. In the prison population he would have already been killed. He can look forward to a long and boring life where he is. Odds are he’ll die of boredom before he ever sees a needle.

  7. Albert Brown is a vicous cold blooded killer with no remorse. What good would come out of keeping him alive? Why should I use my taxs dollars to pay to keep a low life pice of crap alive? He is not a good man or will ever be a good man. Kill him and let's go on..

  8. Albert Brown will not be "killed" by the State of California. He was judged guilty by a jury of his peers, and will be executed by the order of a judge in accordance with the law. No specious and mealymouthed usage of the English language will change that.

    It seems to me, however, that everyone here is missing the point: Capital Punishment has no more to do with revenge than has it to do with justice.

    What IS at the heart of the matter is the responsibility of the state to protect the body politic.

    Ted Bundy escaped for the second time in 1978 and proceeded to kill Margaret Bowman, Lisa Levy, and 12 year old Kimberly Leach. He raped, as well murdered, the latter two. This was in addition to the several others he severely injured in separate attacks.

    Ted Bundy has killed or injured no one since his execution.

    No. We don't rehabilitate remorseless killers. Like rabid dogs, we put them down to protect the public.

    Forgiveness is the purview of god. Let him make make that choice. I prefer a safer society.

  9. Albert Brown is a vicous cold blooded killer with no remorse. What good would come out of keeping him alive? Why should I use my taxs dollars to pay to keep a low life pice of crap alive? He is not a good man or will ever be a good man. Kill him and let’s go on..

  10. Albert Brown will not be “killed” by the State of California. He was judged guilty by a jury of his peers, and will be executed by the order of a judge in accordance with the law. No specious and mealymouthed usage of the English language will change that.

    It seems to me, however, that everyone here is missing the point: Capital Punishment has no more to do with revenge than has it to do with justice.

    What IS at the heart of the matter is the responsibility of the state to protect the body politic.

    Ted Bundy escaped for the second time in 1978 and proceeded to kill Margaret Bowman, Lisa Levy, and 12 year old Kimberly Leach. He raped, as well murdered, the latter two. This was in addition to the several others he severely injured in separate attacks.

    Ted Bundy has killed or injured no one since his execution.

    No. We don’t rehabilitate remorseless killers. Like rabid dogs, we put them down to protect the public.

    Forgiveness is the purview of god. Let him make make that choice. I prefer a safer society.

  11. Thanks for all your feedback on this post. We understand this is an emotional issue for many but please try to keep your comments civil. We do enforce our “Terms of Use” on this blog and will not tolerate any abusive comments or attacks here. We greatly appreciate and hear your opinions yet we reserve the right to remove any comments that we find offensive, harmful or unrelated to this community.

    Please refer to the Community Guidelines statement if you need further information: http://blog.amnestyusa.org/community-guidelines

  12. Thanks for all your feedback on this post. We understand this is an emotional issue for many but please try to keep your comments civil. We do enforce our “Terms of Use” on this blog and will not tolerate any abusive comments or attacks here. We greatly appreciate and hear your opinions yet we reserve the right to remove any comments that we find offensive, harmful or unrelated to this community.

    Please refer to the Community Guidelines statement if you need further information: http://blog.amnestyusa.org/community-guidelines

  13. Thanks for all your feedback on this post. We understand this is an emotional issue for many but please try to keep your comments civil. We do enforce our “Terms of Use” on this blog and will not tolerate any abusive comments or attacks here. We greatly appreciate and hear your opinions yet we reserve the right to remove any comments that we find offensive, harmful or unrelated to this community.

    Please refer to the Community Guidelines statement if you need further information: http://blog.amnestyusa.org/community-guidelines

  14. Killing Albert Brown would be an act of state violence. In the words of Martin Luther King "The ultimeate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, betting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of dimihishing evil, it multiples it. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do nto murder hate. In fact, violence merely inceases hate … Returning violence for violence multilpies violence, adding deeper darkness to a a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

  15. Thanks for all your feedback on this post. We understand this is an emotional issue for many but please try to keep your comments civil. We do enforce our “Terms of Use” on this blog and will not tolerate any abusive comments or attacks here. We greatly appreciate and hear your opinions yet we reserve the right to remove any comments that we find offensive, harmful or unrelated to this community.

    Please refer to the Community Guidelines statement if you need further information: http://blog.amnestyusa.org/community-guidelines

  16. Killing Albert Brown would be an act of state violence. In the words of Martin Luther King “The ultimeate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, betting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of dimihishing evil, it multiples it. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do nto murder hate. In fact, violence merely inceases hate … Returning violence for violence multilpies violence, adding deeper darkness to a a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

  17. The reason we put murderers to death is so they don't go to prison on a "life without the posibility of parole" sentencing. As much as the death penalty in California is a sham…so is the "life without parole" sentencing. The murderer merely sits around for a decade or so, files a ridiculous appeal with a liberal court and the next thing you know he walks of prison on parole despite "no possibility of parole". The citizens and police then get to deal with the violent criminal once again. At least the death penalty pretty much ensures bad guy stays in prison until his death.

  18. I think that if ANYONE who goes around Killing Innocent kids or adults,THAT KILLER Should ALSO BE PUT TO DEATH and NOT ALLOWED TO LIVE!! That just might make our community and cities a safer place to live!! WE don't Need nor want Killers out there on the streets where they can kill again, NO WAY!!

  19. The reason we put murderers to death is so they don’t go to prison on a “life without the posibility of parole” sentencing. As much as the death penalty in California is a sham…so is the “life without parole” sentencing. The murderer merely sits around for a decade or so, files a ridiculous appeal with a liberal court and the next thing you know he walks of prison on parole despite “no possibility of parole”. The citizens and police then get to deal with the violent criminal once again. At least the death penalty pretty much ensures bad guy stays in prison until his death.

  20. I think that if ANYONE who goes around Killing Innocent kids or adults,THAT KILLER Should ALSO BE PUT TO DEATH and NOT ALLOWED TO LIVE!! That just might make our community and cities a safer place to live!! WE don’t Need nor want Killers out there on the streets where they can kill again, NO WAY!!

  21. One problem is that most people do not understand that "Life" does not mean what they think it does. The "Life" sentence under California law is defined as 25 yrs. After that time a person goes free without oversight or parole. This is not explained to juries when given the choice between the death penalty and "Life" without the possibility of parole. As a matter of fact when someone goes to prison on a "Life" without the possibility of parole, one of the first things they are advised of it the date of their first PAROL HEARING, which you would think they would not need.
    In realityt, with the 25 yr limit, appeals, and clemency request system, there is no such thing as a “Life” without the possibility of parole sentence

  22. One problem is that most people do not understand that “Life” does not mean what they think it does. The “Life” sentence under California law is defined as 25 yrs. After that time a person goes free without oversight or parole. This is not explained to juries when given the choice between the death penalty and “Life” without the possibility of parole. As a matter of fact when someone goes to prison on a “Life” without the possibility of parole, one of the first things they are advised of it the date of their first PAROL HEARING, which you would think they would not need.
    In realityt, with the 25 yr limit, appeals, and clemency request system, there is no such thing as a “Life” without the possibility of parole sentence