Something is very wrong with our criminal justice system. A man is found guilty of murder in California (PC 187) and sentenced to death. Our justice system is so backed up with death penalty appeals that it takes EIGHT YEARS for the appellate brief to be filed with the California Supreme Court. Now it will take at least another two years for the Attorney General to respond to the appeal filed by Peterson. Then, Peterson’s defense lawyer will take months to file his reply brief. Then, there will be oral argument. There is a good chance that it will be about 11 years from time of verdict to when the California Supreme Court rules on the appeal…..and if they uphold his conviction then the fun really starts.
Peterson will then appeal to the federal courts. These appeals can easily take another 10 years. The cost to the taxpayers for this process is tens of millions of dollars. If Peterson’s death penalty verdict is upheld, he will never be executed. There are 725 people sitting on death row now. Some have been sitting for over 20 years while appeals go on and on and on. The California Supreme Court has ruled that no death sentences can be carried out until it is determined whether the method being used is a “cruel and unusual punishment.”
The bottom line is we have our kids’ education to worry about. Millions of dollars thrown down the toilet dealing with these death penalty cases could be put to use to improve our deficient educational system. We could use some of this money to help our wounded veterans returning from war. So many people are too poor to seek the medical attention they need. These are all good people. They didn’t kill anybody. Yet the DA’s office insists on seeking the death penalty with full knowledge that nobody will ever be put to death. The DA’s office knows the costs of prosecuting a death penalty case. It seems that the desire of DA’s to get publicity and “get ahead” by winning death penalty cases is more important than the millions of dollars being wasted every year.
Let’s get real and get rid of the death penalty for the good of everyone.
If your loved one is currently facing murder charges in Southern California, please contact the criminal defense attorneys of Wallin & Klarich to receive immediate answers to your questions. Call us today at (888) 280-6839.