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Murder victim’s family members call the death penalty ‘an empty promise’

John Gardner received a sentence of life in prison for the rape and murder of Chelsea King after her parents called the death penalty in California, "an empty promise."

John Gardner received a sentence of life in prison for the rape and murder of Chelsea King after her parents called the death penalty in California, "an empty promise."

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

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One Response

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  1. Allison says

    I do not understand why we feel the need to execute people. Their crimes will not be done. The wounds won’t heal. Life is life. It is not ours to take no matter the man. It is an empty promise of relief that they clamor for here. There isn’t any to come. With this mans death or life. The sad fact is, the wounds become scars. When we’ve been so murdered in our hearts with the pain that a man can inflict, we first think to hurt them is the way to breathe again. It’s not. I believe in God again. I believe that God was as much with Gardner as he was with chealsea. I believe that God has been next to him his whole life, and understands his motives, his demons, his crime as the man himself does. God does not love this man any less. He does not want to punish him. He does not seek revenge. This is gods child too. Relief from pain comes two ways. First in being understood, in being loved. Second in understanding, and loving. A terrible hurt has been caused. It will never change. You have a new normal now. Revenge will only make it blacker.



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