Gray on the Hill death penalty

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I excerpted this on the LPSF blog, but I asked Judge Gray, concerning the
Hill/Harris controversy:

> 1) What is your position on the death penalty, overall?
> 2) If you support the death penalty in some circumstances, do you feel it
> should be applied in this case?
> 3) If so, do you feel that D.A. Harris's decision is an acceptable or
> legitimate one?
> 4) Do you feel that this case should be a local, rather than state or
> federal, issue?
> 5) Do you feel that it is appropriate for a senator to use his or her
> "bully pulpit" to attempt to influence such an issue?
> 6) Do you feel that it is appropriate for a senator to request federal
> intervention in such an issue?

He replied:

The older I get, the less I favor the death penalty.

Now I would only favor it in those quite limited cases in which it would be
clear that it would serve as a deterrent to keep future victims from being
killed. Examples of that would be for murder for hire cases, which
obviously would consist of prior malice aforethought. Another would be
someone already serving a life without possiblility of parole sentence who
is convicted of killing another person. Otherwise, other victims would be
fair game, without penalty. And today in many states, it is a capital
offense for kidnapping. I would change that so that only if the perpetrator
killed the victim would he/she be exposed to the death penalty. That way,
there would always be an incentive to keep the victim alive.

Without question, these are local issues, and certainly not federal.
Responsible federal officials should keep out of them. In this case, since
the DA ran for office on this platform, and was elected on it, I think it is
the responsible thing for her to do to be consistent, and I admire her for
it. Federal officials interjecting themselves into this emotional issue are
only pandering politically to the public, and I think it demeans our system.

Thank you for your note, and I would appreciate your support in this
election. What we need, now more than ever, is principled leadership.

I plan to send this to D.A. Harris; any other ideas for making use of this
are welcome.

- --
Christopher R. Maden, Chair, Libertarian Party of San Francisco
The Party of Principle: individual freedom and personal responsibility
<URL: > +1.415.775.LPSF
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