Dead Wrong

STATE ISSUES: Although executions are set to resume in California, we do not believe that the death penalty should be utilized at all.

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Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the oft-referenced Berkeley bubble that key California issues seem incongruous with what seems obvious to us.

The most recent example: While a moratorium on executions has been in place since 2006, lethal injections are set to resume this week with the first set for Thursday.

We may be taking the idealist, college-student stance, but we believe the death penalty should not be an option in California; 15 states currently do not allow it and we should follow suit.

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel, who ruled that the procedures in 2006 constituted cruel and unusual punishment, lifted the ban on executions after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the executions practice of using a three-drug combination did not violate the constitution. Additionally, California has revised its process and now has a single-injection option that a prisoner can choose instead of the three-drug method.

It goes without saying that the debate over capital punishment has many sides and many voices: Many reference the significantly higher cost of the appeals process as opposed to a life sentence, while others retort that justice should not be compromised at a price. Yet we struggle with the fact that the state has the authority to take a life in the first place, at the most basic level.

The debate of which method of execution is most humane - an issue of ultimate irony in and of itself - cannot change our belief that any implementation is wrong.

Albert Greenwood Brown, the first inmate set to be executed since the moratorium has been lifted, refused to choose between the single-dose or three-drug combination lethal injection methods and additionally asked a federal appeals court to stop his sentence.

Although unlikely, we would like to see this request to stop execution granted. This matter of life and death should not be in California's hands.






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