From ABC News’s “Calif. Case Spotlights Dysfunctional Death Penalty“:
Chelsea King’s parents reluctantly agreed to a sentence of life in prison for their daughter’s rapist and killer, calling the death penalty in California “an empty promise.”
The Kings join a growing list of victims’ families, law enforcement officials and other capital punishment proponents who have grown disillusioned with California’s death penalty. The decision to forego capital punishment for registered sex offender John Gardner, who this month admitted killing Chelsea King and another teen girl, has once again thrust the gridlocked system into the spotlight…
California Chief Justice Ron George told the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice that the state’s capital punishment system is “dysfunctional.” Death penalty appeals account for 25 percent of the high court’s workload, he has said.
“Most of us realize a death sentence at this time is a hollow promise in California,” San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said at the news conference with the King family announcing that Gardner would plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence….
In voicing frustration with capital punishment, these supporters of the penalty are lending momentum to a renewed push by death penalty foes to abolish executions in California.
Photo: Courtesy California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation