Move all prisoners off death row

PHOTO: Brook Ward on Flickr
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California has a moratorium on executions, yet most death penalty inmates still languish on death row. “We don’t have the moral authority as a society to execute someone,” notes District Attorney Jeff Rosen of Santa Clara County.

He is working to change the sentences of all those rotting on death row in his jurisdiction because his office contends, “We cannot defend these sentences, and we believe that implicit bias and structural racism played some role.”

He’s right. In the United States, the death penalty is inherently racist. In California, people of color are disproportionately sentenced to death. Black residents are only 7% of the population but they are 35% of those on death row.

Under capitalism, the law protects the property rights of the privileged. It is a tool of race and class rule. It’s used to terrorize. Tossing prisoners onto death row for decades is brutal and unjust.

There should be no capital punishment, period. Rosen set an example that all D.A.s everywhere should follow.

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