Letters to the Editor

Readers praise, condemn Newsom’s decision to halt death penalty

Governor explains his personal and passionate view behind halting death penalty

Gov. Gavin Newsom put a moratorium on the death penalty in California on March 13, 2019, sparing the lives of more than 700 death-row inmates.
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Gov. Gavin Newsom put a moratorium on the death penalty in California on March 13, 2019, sparing the lives of more than 700 death-row inmates.

Newsom showed poor judgment

No, the governor should not halt the death penalty.

No, the governor does not represent the many victims of these violent individuals.

No, a gun did not murder my son and his girlfriend as the individual slit their throats with a knife.

No, the court did not sentence an innocent man after a jury of his peers proclaimed him guilty.

To learn more about why Gov. Gavin Newsom is using poor judgment with his halting of the death penalty, google John Riggins/Sabrina Gonsalves or check out CBS’ “48 Hours” series of two films of the “sweetheart murders.”

Sadly, we join many, many other victims of crimes by perpetrators who have taken the lives of those dear to them.

Kate Riggins, Pismo Beach

The right step

When I read in The Tribune that Gov. Gavin Newsom had put a moratorium on the death penalty, I was surprised but thrilled. It seems California is finally taking a step in the right direction when it comes to capital punishment. It is shocking that such a liberal state has upheld such anti-progressive laws around this issue for so long, and I am glad that Gov. Newsom is putting a hold on executions for the right reasons.

There is surmounting evidence that points out how flawed the death penalty really is. It has been proven to be racially discriminatory, as people of color are more likely to be sentenced to death than white people for the same crimes. It has failed many times to deliver justice, as countless innocent people have been put on death row and have lost decades of their lives for a crime they did not commit. It has not succeeded in preventing violent crime, either. It is also extremely expensive, costing taxpayers billions of dollars, yet despite all this funding, the system remains inefficient.

It is time for Californians to consider the facts and let go of such an ineffective, inhuman tradition.

Kiana Hunziker, San Luis Obispo

Time for a recall?

Gov. Gavin Newsom knew what his duties would be when he ran for the office of governor. If he felt he could not carry out those duties, he should not have run for the office. Instead, he has taken the typical cowardly political approach of deciding which laws he likes and which ones he doesn’t like. He doesn’t think the death penalty is appropriate, so he has decided to shirk his duty and simply do what he wants.

Disgraceful and shameful. Recall the “lawless” governor?

Jim Vint, Santa Maria

A man of principle

Although it will be unpopular and could well be his undoing, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to stop executions in California shows him to be a man of principle and conscience. Few in his position who have shared his disdain for the death penalty have been willing to take a stand.

Virtually every democratic nation in the world has deemed the practice antiquated, unnecessary, inhumane and have abolished it. In the United States, it was long ago proven to be an ineffective deterrent, fallible in that the innocent have sometimes been its victims, sometimes clumsy and cruel in its application, and always expensive and bogged down in legal battles.

Murderers deserve to spend a lifetime behind bars, contemplating their crimes, suffering from guilt, perhaps finding some redemption. Whether society’s ultimate vengeance on its criminals is right or wrong has long been debated and will continue to be. At a time we are re-evaluating our penal system, perhaps it is time the ultimate punishment is re-evaluated as well.

Tom Bauer, Morro Bay

A challenge for Gov. Newsom

I was appalled to read that Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he will not carry out executions of condemned inmates during his time in office. Not that I particularly agree or disagree with the death penalty. That is not the issue. The fact that he has ignored that Californians have pretty much consistently been in favor of the death penalty for 30 to 40 years is what bothers me and should be of concern to all. What else will he chose to ignore?

I have a challenge for you, Gov. Newsom. Let us go a step further if you are concerned about issues of morality. Put a moratorium on abortions. No more abortions in California while you are in office. After all, whose life did the unborn child take?

Rose Baldwin, Atascadero

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