• Death Penalty,  Jerry Brown,  Kamala Harris,  Michael Morales,  Terri Lynn Winchell

    California Says NO Excutions in 2011

    The old San Quentin Prison Gas Chamber

    What a shocker and from anti-death penalty Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris, too.

    California corrections officials have put off until at least next year any attempt to resume executions among the 713 condemned inmates on death row, according to court documents.

    The request by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to delay review of newly revised lethal-injection protocols until January at the earliest follows a decision last week by Gov. Jerry Brown to scrap plans to build a new death row facility at San Quentin State Prison.

    The steps have stirred speculation among death-penalty opponents that California might be drawn into the national trend away from seeking new executions.

    The most recent postponement was due to San Quentin warden Michael Martel’s decision to replace the execution team that had been assembled and trained last year. That team had been ready to carry out executions last September. Corrections officials have declined to say why Martel is assembling a new execution team.

    The internal corrections department revisions were disclosed during a meeting of the department’s lawyers last week with U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel. The San Jose judge overseeing a federal case that has halted executions for the last five years expressed frustration with the protracted process and concern that the public doesn’t understand why it has taken so long to correct flaws in the execution procedures.

    UC Santa Cruz professor Craig Haney, who opposes capital punishment and has tracked public attitudes on the death penalty for 30 years, said Brown’s decision to scuttle new death row construction to save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, and the corrections department’s slowing down of its efforts to resume executions are “examples of the increasing signs that the death penalty’s days are numbered in the United States.”

    I think it is time for California voters to ask why there has been such a protracted delay in enforcing the law. If there are problems with the lethal injection method, even after spending close to a $ million on a new execution chamber, then why not resume use of the gas chamber. Photo below:

    The newly renovated San Quentin Prison Death Chamber

    AP Photo

    If the California legislature needs to change the capital punishment law to facilitate a return to the gas chamber or hanging, so be it. My best guess is that Jerry brown would veto such legislation. The only recourse would be an initiative campaign by the voters of California – which of course, will take years or an election cycle.

    So, don’t count on any executions to be held in California any time within the next few years – at least while Jerry Brown is governor.

    No justice yet for Terri Lynn Winchell.

    An attorney for death row inmate Michael A. Morales, whose February 2006 execution was called off by Fogel over concerns that the former procedures could inflict unconstitutional pain, said the latest delays reflect a more cautious approach in the exercise of capital punishment by Brown’s administration.

    “It appears that the state is attempting to be diligent in their obligations under the law, which would be in stark departure from what was the case with Governor [Arnold] Schwarzenegger,” said David Senior, one of Morales’ attorneys.

    Terri Lynn Winchell

  • Kamala Harris,  Steve Cooley

    CA-AG Video: Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley Goes “On Air”

    Steve Cooley for Attorney General 2010 – 15 second ad from Steve Cooley on Vimeo.

    Far Left San Francisco DA Kamala Harris who is the Democrat candidate for California Attorney General has been advertising on Los Angeles television for about a week. It was a matter of time, when her Republican opponent, Steve, Cooley, the Los Angeles DA went “on air.”

    District Attorney Steve Cooley’s campaign for California Attorney General began its television advertising today. The campaign is spending significant funds in the state’s major media markets.

    The advertising contrasts Cooley’s record of success and law enforcement support with that of his opponent, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris. To date, Cooley has been endorsed by 47 professional law enforcement organizations and Harris has been endorsed by none.

    The 30-second ad focuses on Cooley’s creation of a Public Integrity Unit and his10 year record of aggressively pursuing public corruption.

    Three of the most noteworthy controversies in Kamala Harris’ career are also highlighted in the 30-second ad and a 15-second ad:

    Harris’ strong opposition to the death penalty and her refusal to seek the death penalty in all cases, even the murder of San Francisco police officer Isaac Espinoza.

    Harris’ mishandling of a scandal in the San Francisco Crime Lab. Harris’ office was criticized by a Judge for failing to discharge its legal responsibilities. Hundreds of cases were ultimately dismissed.

    Harris’ support for San Francisco’s Sanctuary City policy under which San Francisco officials refused to turn illegal aliens who are convicted criminals over to federal immigration authorities for deportation. Some of those illegal alien criminals committed more crimes. The most notable example was the murder of Tony Bologna and his two sons by an AK-47 wielding convicted criminal and illegal immigrant.

    California does not need another “soft on crime” Attorney General.

    Steve Cooley deserves and will have my vote on November 2nd.

    Steve Cooley for Attorney General 2010 – 30 Second Ad from Steve Cooley on Vimeo.