Death penalty costs too much

Reader Input
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The California death penalty is a terrible waste of money. We spend $140 million a year just for lawyers doing state appeals and for additional costs for housing prisoners on death row. This does not include trial costs and federal appeals. Eighty percent of death verdicts are reversed by the courts. The Department of Corrections is building a new death row to hold 1,000 inmates. It will cost $1 billion, that is, $1 million for each cell. It will be filled a few years after completion. Since 1977, only 13 prisoners have been executed while 44 have died from natural causes, 17 have committed suicide and five have died from other causes. The next execution is years away. I contacted Wally Reemlin and Dan Sokol, fearless tax fighters of the Placer Taxpayers League, about this matter. Dan said they will take no position on the death penalty since it is a moral, not an economic, issue. My pamphlet on the death penalty is available at the Auburn library or at for any Journal readers who wish to join this debate. PAUL W. COMISKEY, Newcastle