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Life without parole costs less

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Gov. (Jerry) Brown could save taxpayers billions of dollars with the stroke of a pen. He would only need to commute the sentences of the 703 death row inmates to life without parole. Permanent imprisonment would provide swift and certain justice for victim families, avoiding the agonizing delays caused by decades-long appeals and the illusory promise of execution. Death penalty proponents would lose little since 70 to 80 percent of death verdicts are reversed by the courts and six times more condemned prisoners die from natural causes than execution. Since 1977, 13 condemned have been executed while 70 have died natural deaths. Seventeen have committed suicide and five have died from prison violence. This proposal was sent to the governor by a wild-eyed, liberal, bleeding-heart bunch of ladies called the League of Women Voters of California. Paul Comiskey, Newcastle