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Vote to drop death penalty

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The defendants in two recent Placer County homicides could have death penalty charges filed against them. What will District Attorney (Scott) Owens do? Will he cause incalculable pain to the victim families and squander taxpayer money by seeking death? I hope he will seek whatever lesser punishment he deems appropriate. Death penalty trials can cost 20 times more than those seeking life without parole. Life without parole would involve one taxpayer paid appeal that would be finished in about 18 months after trial. Death verdicts involve 30 years of convoluted appeals and between 70 and 80 percent result in reversals of the death verdict. Since 1978 there have been 13 executions and 74 natural deaths. There were only three California death verdicts in the first half of 2011 compared to 13 last year. This is the lowest number of new death sentences in any six-month period since death penalty reinstatement in 1978. Prosecutors and jurors are turning away from death. It has been five years since an execution in California and it is not likely there will be any in the future. The people of California will have a chance to make history on Nov. 6, 2012 by abolishing the death penalty. Paul Comiskey, Newcastle