Proposition 34: Why I’m for the Death Penalty

I’ve waited most of my adult life to cast a vote against the death penalty. On Nov. 6, I’ll finally get my chance with Proposition 34, the Death Penalty Initiative Statute. If passed by a majority of voters, capital punishment will be replaced by life in prison without parole for the state’s most heinous offenders. These same criminals will be forced to work to pay restitution to the family members of victims and to the state. As an ardent death penalty opponent, I’ve supported just such a solution for years.

So here’s my problem: I’m no longer against the death penalty. I have come to the conclusion that some human beings are beyond redemption. It has not been an easy decision to reach.

I witnessed an execution once. The convicted murderer’s name was Richard Allen Moran.

In 1984, while in a cocaine- and alcohol-induced blackout, Moran shot and killed a bartender and a cook in a Las Vegas tavern. Nine days later, he shot and killed his wife and then turned the gun on himself, shooting himself in the stomach. He survived and was sentenced to death. In 1996, Moran was executed by lethal injection at Nevada State Prison in Carson City, while I and 40 other witnesses watched from behind the execution chamber’s glass viewing windows.

It was surprisingly easy watching a man die. Moran was heavily sedated before ever entering the chamber, he offered no resistance when the guards positioned him on the hospital gurney soon to be his deathbed. The injection process began. After about 30 seconds Moran’s stomach fluttered gently, and shortly afterward a prison official pronounced him dead. Only one person, a family member of one of the victims, cheered. It was that simple.

It bothered me that it was that simple. When the state kills a man, it seemed to me, it should be some sort of Grand Guignol spectacle, with a snapping neck or a body riddled with bullet holes or a ride in Ol Sparky, with the accompanying smell of ozone and burnt flesh. Something to be taken seriously. Lethal injection has turned capital punishment into a medical procedure.

However, the simplicity of Richard Allen Moran’s death was not what bothered me the most about his execution. What bothered me most was his willingness to die. In an exclusive interview with the local Associated Press reporter before his execution, Moran explained how he’d been filled with remorse since waking up in the hospital 12 years after his crimes and his attempted suicide. Although his federal appeals had not been exhausted, he chose to abandon the case. A lapsed Catholic who rediscovered religion in prison, he claimed he wasn’t committing suicide. But that’s what he did, with the state’s assistance.

That’s when I began to suspect that for many men (and a very few violent female offenders) capital punishment is a way out, a delayed version of suicide-by-cop, a means of escaping the torment of their own guilt and their own life experience. As the criminologist Lonny Atkins has documented, many if not most violent offenders have life histories so brutal and alien to average people that it’s impossible to imagine ourselves in their shoes.

As a journalist, I have sought out violent criminals who fit Atkins’ profile. One of the first I interviewed was David Scott Daniels, a former Sacramento resident currently residing on San Quentin’s Death Row.

Daniels is a longtime drug addict who was raised in San Francisco by a prostitute mother on the streets of Hunter’s Point, one of the most violent neighborhoods in the city. After acquiring two strikes (the three strikes law came into effect while he was prison) he was released in 1995. He got a job and stayed sober several months, but then began using crack cocaine again and stopped showing up for work.

Instead, he started robbing banks and convenience stores, doing massive amounts of cocaine, and hanging out with hookers. It all ended after just three months with Daniels shooting a man in the head during a drug deal, then killing a Sutter Health nurse after he ran her off the road in a high-speed car chase with police in south Sacramento. Police surrounded his car, an officer approached Daniels, and Daniels shot the officer with a Tec-9. The surrounding officers opened fire, hitting Daniels 16 times.

The officer who Daniels shot was saved by his bulletproof vest and his badge, which caught the bullet fired at him. Daniels spent the next two weeks at UC Davis Medical Center unconscious and near death.

Six of the bullets were still in Daniels when I interviewed him at the Sacramento County Jail. The first thing he told me was that the worst moment in his life was when he woke up in the hospital and discovered he was still alive. He knew that once he started using drugs again, it was only a matter of time before he went back to prison for his third strike, on a 25-to-life term. He had made is mind up not to go back to prison. He was going out to go out in a blaze of glory.

He had attempted committing suicide, and having failed that, he refused to defend himself in court, even though a good defense attorney could have, with some effort, saved him from the death penalty. He wanted to die, and that’s what he got, a fast track straight to Death Row.

However, unlike Texas, California is in no great hurry to execute its 725 Death Row inmates. You’re more likely to die of old age or suicide than lethal injection on Death Row. Just 13 inmates have been executed since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Since Clarence Ray Allen’s execution in 2006, there has been a moratorium while courts try to determine if California’s method of lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment.

At the present rate of execution, David Scott Daniels will die of old age. What is more cruel and unusual, I wonder: Killing a criminal like Daniels who wants to die, or allowing him to live behind bars for the rest of his natural life? I think in his case being allowed to live is more cruel and unusual than executing him, but I also feel it is the more just punishment. Why shouldn’t Daniels spend the rest of his life in prison cursing himself for his own heinous stupidity?

What makes a person capable of such violent acts? The case of James Karis proved to be highly revealing. In 1981, the violent ex-con on parole, who appeared to be adjusting to civilian life, abducted two Placerville women and drove them to a secluded area just outside of town. He raped one of them and shot both in the back of the head, leaving them for dead. One of them survived, and he was quickly captured and sentenced to death.

In 2007, Sacramento attorney Michael Bigelow handled Karis’ federal appeal. He exhaustively researched his client’s past, and discovered patterns of severe mental and physical abuse in his family history that stretched back four generations. To paraphrase Hillary Clinton, it takes a village to make a killer, and the sustained beatings and humiliation dealt to Karis as a child had everything to do with who he became. There were enough mitigating circumstances to at least reduce his death sentence to life in prison without parole.

But at the last minute, Karis backed out of the appeals process. According to Bigelow, who was occasionally in tears when I interviewed him, Karis didn’t have the stomach to go through the catalog of abuses he endured as a child that would have been presented in court during trial.

So Karis is back on Death Row, where he’ll probably die of old age. I’ve got no problem with that. It’s unclear how much remorse Karis feels, or if he is capable of feeling anything other than pain caused by the abuse he suffered as a child. He looks like a man dying of infinite sadness. Prison is the only place for him. He’s a broken machine. The same can be said for David Scott Daniels and the late Richard Allen Moran.

It cannot be said about San Quentin Death Row inmate Randy Kraft.

Randy Kraft taken during his trial in 1989.

Randy Kraft grew up in a typical Orange County family where by all accounts he was well-loved and well-treated. The major hardship he faced in his young life was coming out as a gay man during his late teens, which wasn’t easy in the early 1960s,. Kraft eventually adapted to the gay lifestyle, and became a prominent member in the Long Beach gay community during the 1970s. None of his lovers or friends suspected he was a cold-blooded serial killer praying on young male hitchhikers.

The definitive work on Kraft is LA Times reporter Dennis McDougal’s “Angel of Darkness.” Beginning in the late 1970s and extending into the late 1980s, bodies of young men began appearing on freeway offramps and on the sides of roads throughout the Los Angeles area. The crimes weren’t solved until 1983, when Kraft was pulled over by police for driving erratically. His latest victim was lying dead in the passenger seat.

Kraft killed as many as 65 people, all of them men, most of them in Southern California. His method of operation was always the same: pick up a hitchhiking guy, usually a marine, a sailor or a runaway, feed him a mix of alcohol and sedatives, then rape and sexually mutilate him while he was still alive. After having his fun, he strangled the victims, and the bodies usually appeared on a freeway offramp, tossed out of his car traveling at high speed, mutilating the corpses even further.

Here’s what freaks me out about Randy Kraft: I served in the Navy between 1978 and 1982, and while stationed in San Diego, I often hitchhiked to Los Angeles, on the very same highways and at the very same time Kraft was trolling for his victims, who were often marines or sailors hitchhiking along the highway, looking to party. If Kraft had picked me up, I would have undoubtedly accepted the beer he would have offered, along with the Valium.

I could have been a victim, and before reading about the Kraft case, that had never occurred to me before. It has completely changed my perspective on the death penalty.

I wrote Kraft in San Quentin hoping to strike up a correspondence on the subject. He never responded. That’s not unusual. Since his conviction in 1989, he has maintained his innocence, and after spending the past 23 years on Death Row, the 67-year-old prisoner isn’t about to give up information to a journalist. As recently as last year, he refused to assist in an NCIS investigation after a body of one of his marine victims turned up. Kraft will take his secrets to the grave, and he has made no secret of the fact that he plans to live a long time, even if it is behind bars.

The only thing we can do is hasten Randy Kraft’s exit. Not every Death Row inmate deserves the ultimate punishment, and the courts can sort that out. But I believe Kraft, and other sociopaths like him, should be strapped down and slipped the needle as soon as possible. Some people are beyond redemption. There is no cure for Randy Kraft. That’s why on Nov. 6, I’ll be voting no on Proposition 34.

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September 27, 2012 | 3:31 PM

“But I believe Kraft, and other sociopaths like him, should be strapped down and slipped the needle…” Who does the “needle slipping?” Your argument justifies tax dollars to employ individuals to execute people.

What is an acceptable percentage for you on wrongful executions? 1 in 100? 1 in 1,000? 1 in 7 death row inmates are wrongfully convicted and some don’t get so lucky as the West Memphis Three. One wrongfully executed individual is WAY WAY too many. Just ask Johnny Frank Garrett.

September 27, 2012 | 5:57 PM

I replied to your comment below Jimmy.

Article Author
September 27, 2012 | 5:57 PM

I agree, the fact that some innocent people have been executed is perplexing although I don’t think the numbers you quote are correct. But that’s an argument for making the system better, not against the death penalty. I believe that killers like Kraft, who no one doubts the guilt of (except for Randy), should be put to death. Put another way, I might say we only use the death penalty for the most heinous killers and the ones we’re absolutely certain committed their crime.

Article Author
September 27, 2012 | 8:59 PM

How would you define “the most heinous?” The courts were “absolutely certain” when they convicted the wrongfully accused in the first place. That’s the definition of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Your argument doesn’t hold up. Would you want to be employed to kill people?

September 27, 2012 | 6:55 PM

LWOP is the death penalty. You leave prison in a body bag or cremated.

October 1, 2012 | 9:54 AM

Think “life without parole” means what it says? Think again. On 9/30/12 Governor Brown took the first step to parole those sentenced to life “without parole” by signing CA SB 9. This new law allows 309 current inmates with life sentences “without parole” for having killed someone to be eligible for parole after serving as little as 15 years. The bill applies to future cases as well. Can we really believe that allowing 729 killers sentenced to death will never be released only because they have been sentenced to life without parole? Remember Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan?

September 27, 2012 | 7:06 PM

Ask Tommy Thompson, well if you could, one of CA’s 13. And, one of the main reasons the author of CA’s DP statute now supports Prop 34. He too believes Tom Thompson was innocent. How about Troy Davis . . . Just a whole world and several million people couldn’t “fix” the broken system which never worked from the start. Ask IL when they got to 20 exonerations and were still going, more than they’d executed, and now one of their very conservative Supreme Court Clerks running for office in IA when asked if he differed from his party on any issues, (Republican) said the death penalty. I know we have killed an innocent person though he did not give a name. Interesting argument, but the death penalty is indefensible, as are the actions of Randy Kraft. No excuse to act like him though. Murder is murder is murder.

September 27, 2012 | 7:17 PM

That’s my conundrum with Kraft: There’s no question he did it. The chances of executing an innocent man in his case is 0 percent.

Article Author
September 27, 2012 | 10:00 PM

There’s no conundrum. If you have a death penalty, regardless of the standard you use in applying it, there will always be cases on the edge of that standard where mistakes are made.

September 27, 2012 | 7:49 PM

I innocent is ONE TOO MANY !!! The death penalty is given mostly to the poor. Although Kraft is another one of those white guys who look so sweet, it doesn’t make the death penalty right. VOTE YES on prop 34

September 29, 2012 | 4:40 PM

I don’t think I used Randy Kraft because he was white and sweet looking. For one, I don’t think he’s that that handsome, although other people do. Secondly, as a student of violent criminals, he is the worst I’ve ever read about or encountered. I agree that the death penalty is disproportionately applied to the poor and minorities. I agree that has it is applied now, innocent people have been killed. But that’s the system, and it can be fixed.

Article Author
September 27, 2012 | 8:17 PM

The current death penalty law is supposedly only for the worst of the worst, and those with “Special circumstances” and look at all who are on the row. The DP is applied unevenly, depending on what race the perpetrator is and what race the victim is, which county the crime happened in, and too many people on the row are poor and had terrible representation. Rich white men don’t end up on death row. And think of the hundreds of murders that are never solved, or if charged there’s a plea deal for a lesser sentence. Is this justice for all? And now you want to decide who are the really bad ones and who is for sure guilty. Who are you to say? There have been too many cases where the evidence pointed to guilt, and later it was discovered that evidence was withheld or manufactured. Human beings under distress will kill other human beings, and that’s always a tragedy for the victim, the perpetrator, the families of both and the community. It does take a village to create these tragic situations, these wounded children who grow up and kill. The State should not murder human beings. I don’t care how terrible their crimes, nor how sure you or anyone is of their guilt. No more state murder! I’m voting for Proposition 34 to end state killing.

September 29, 2012 | 4:51 PM

Thanks for you comments Joan. I have a very open mind when it comes to the death penalty. I believe that most of the 725 people on Death Row don’t deserve to be executed. But a few of them do, and Randy Kraft is one of them.

Article Author
September 27, 2012 | 8:47 PM

Locking someone up for life (perhaps we can take away their cable service) is just as effective as sticking a needle in them.. Besides the $130 million California spends every year on death row inmates could be used elsewhere…like schools or parks.

September 27, 2012 | 9:24 PM

I was against the death penalty until my brother was killed and his wife was raped over his dead body. She then was killed and the murder went out and partied with his friends after. Randon selection, no connection.
Five DNA hits and bragging on the phone in prison.

September 27, 2012 | 10:35 PM

Absolutely sounds like someone who qualifies for no second chances, but I don’t want to become like him. I just want public safety.

September 28, 2012 | 10:44 AM

Wow, Hswiii that awful. Did they catch the perpetrator and if so what was his punishment?

Article Author
September 29, 2012 | 8:17 PM

He is waiting trial and is delaying in hope that he can beat the dp if this passes. I understand trying to save money but that is not what is hopping here. They want to reallocate the money to another lousy system. The death penalty needs to be fixed by refining it to depend on DNA or video. There after process appeals promptly then execute the offenders.

September 29, 2012 | 8:20 PM

My brother was Brock Husted and his wife was Davina Husted. She was pregnant and he killed them in their home while there kids were there. (9&11)

Dateline did a story on the case. Google.

September 28, 2012 | 9:31 AM

Sorry, I’m not convinced. I could never advocate, condone or justify the killing of anyone regardless of how sick, deranged, deserving, or at times innocent they are, or are perceived to be.

September 29, 2012 | 4:36 PM

One of the main points of my article is that I used to feel exactly like you. No way, ever, no executions. I understand my argument in this story is an emotional one, it comes from the “gut,” and is not necessarily logical.

Article Author
September 28, 2012 | 10:08 AM

Well thought-out article, and representative of people appraching this issue with an open mind, who discover that, indeed, though tragic (for it is always a tragedy to put a person to death), there are people who deserve to die for what they have done.

Thank you R.V., Great article!

September 28, 2012 | 2:05 PM

I agree, or at least used to agree with all the anti-death penalty arguments presented so far in the comments. I do think the death penalty is overused. However, I do think it is possible to use the death penalty without making mistakes.

Article Author
September 28, 2012 | 3:01 PM

Save $130 million? ya right how does giving them life save? it does not the budget will double and the cost for keep them alive will sky rocket.. these people did sick and twisted things .. they raped and killed and more to people .. they need to be put to death in the way they did to their victims . The get their chance and fail they should have all delays removed and have the sentence. the cost of saving them and keeping them is just wrong it no saving and the families of the victims have to live knowing the person that kill them loves ones are still alive and their taxes dollars are paying for it.. This just BS caring if the feel pain wile being put to death . they didn’t care about the people the killed feeling pain.. injections? heck take them to sea with wood chipper feed the sharks off shore and keep the sharks from going to our beaches ..Why do we want mercy to give these who gave no mercy to those they killed They have no care at whet they did .. they are give time to prove the convection wrong but after that they need to just give up and let their time end. There are too many siting live on money we are taxes on.. This is Brown’s BS he did it before and that why we have the overload of people living this why we spent the room and bored on people Charlies Madison and his crew .. Do we really need to keep these people alive ? what does it show? We care about life yes but what about those like these that have no care about life? they just kill for the sake of killing and we do not need that bleeding out out funds .. a room and food and medical for life .a job and all and no cares in the world no bills no worries about anything and we have to do this to the day they die.. what do you think it more right ? how do we tell people who lost love one from their life that the person that killed them is now living free in prison? With not sting of death this will lead to many more killing and those are hard fact that any one in law enforcement will tell you ..

September 29, 2012 | 4:56 PM

Interesting that you mention Charles Manson. I believe Manson did NOT deserve the death penalty, because he wasn’t convicted of killing anyone, he was just convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, and honestly it was a pretty weak case against him, until Bugliosi dreamed up the whole Helter Skelter thing. I also believe in mitigating circumstances: all those Family members were out of their minds on LSD all the time, and who knows what’s gonna happen then? LWOP is the correct sentence, and that’s what they ended up getting sort of, because they’re never gonna get let out.

Article Author
September 29, 2012 | 4:11 PM

Anyone understanding the basic facts surrounding the Thomas Thompson case knows that Tommy Thompson was not “innocent”. At best he did not commit the rape that turned his offense into a special circumstance and he was the recipient of appellate bad luck but that doesnt change the fact that he was certainly involved in the murder of Ginger Fleischli. For Don Heller to be marching around the state talking about his “innocence” to audiences who dont know the facts of this case other than what Heller tells them is why the people behind 34 are so disingenuous.
Additionally, this concept that we will save hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent elsewhere is ridiculous. Just because backers of this proposition can assign a cost to the process of capital punishment doesnt mean that if you get rid of the process you will free up budgetary cash for other purposes. The guards at San Quentin will be reassigned, the courthouses will not close and LWOP will mean definitely providing medical care in perpetuity. There is no pot of gold for parks, schools, and more cops and to think otherwise is just wishful thinking.
In fact, backers are going to waste 30 million a year that the AG will get to disperse in any way he or she sees fit, supposedly for cold cases and crime prevention. The City of LA police department budget is 1.2 billion annually. 30 million if they got all of it is a rounding error.
Even more dishonest is a restitution fund that forces death row inhabitants to work and give the money to their victims families. Corrections would just ignore this aspect of the referendum, it is completely unworkable from a security perspective and is legally unenforceable. Proponents of 34 know this, one is the ex warden of “Q”, but they think people are stupid enough to think this is plausible. I have problems with capital punishment, both in this state and conceptually, but the people behind this referendum are really dishonest elitists who think they can con “low information voters” in a time of fiscal crisis. I’ll be voting “No” because whatever the issue, lies and disingenuity should never be rewarded.

September 29, 2012 | 4:34 PM

I agree that it’s impossible to determine if Prop. 34 will save money. Just because a prisoner got a LWOP sentence doesn’t mean there will be a sudden lack of appeals. Those sentences will be appealed too. One of problem I have with California executions is how they pick the order. Kraft has exhausted his appeals years ago. Why is Kraft still alive, but Thomas Thompson isn’t? There is absolutely no doubt about Kraft’s guilt.

Article Author
September 30, 2012 | 12:05 PM

Well son we have had many a discussion /arguments on this topic and I remember we both have been on both sides of the argument over time. However I think you hit on the real reason to not be for it.. A lot of them would rather die than live a life in prison having to relive what they did day after day after day… .I think keeping them alive but put them is a cell and give them their 1 hour of day in a yard alone with damn little view and total isolation with nothing to do except think of your deeds is truly the worse punishment .. I will freely admit there are some I would make an exception for.. If it was my wife or son that he took I would glady shove the needle in the prick , but I don’t think I would medicate him first , I would like to make sure he knew what was happening. Given the opportunity I would save the state some money and avoid a trial.

September 30, 2012 | 11:54 PM

LOL! so we do agree!

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P W
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October 1, 2012 | 6:33 AM

I find it interesting that perhaps the two most polarizing, and passionately debated issues in politics over the last 50-years have to do with life and death: Abortion and the death penalty. Both have very absolute and final ramifications. Equally interesting, most liberals (like myself) are pro-choice, and anti-death penalty; whereas many conservatives hold exactly the opposite points of view. I’m sure this has occurred to others. There are no easy answers, obviously, to either issue…and maybe that’s a good thing. I’m confident that in another 50-years, we’ll still be having the same debates. Unless technology/medical advancements somehow provide a suitable solution t one, or both, of these issues.

October 2, 2012 | 6:22 PM

You’re right PW, I have often thought about the death penalty/abortion dilemma. As a dude, I’ve always had to defer to the woman’s choice when it comes to abortion. It’s her body. I realize that is a bit of a cop-out, I’m glad the mother of my 33-year-old lovechild daughter didn’t choose abortion. I might have made the wrong decision, and then she wouldn’t be here. But still, it was not my decision to make.

Article Author
October 1, 2012 | 9:56 AM

The 729 on death row murdered at least 1,279 people, with 230 children. 43 were police officers. 211 were raped, 319 were robbed, 66 were killed in execution style, and 47 were tortured. 11 murdered other inmates.

The arguments in support of Pro. 34, the ballot measure to abolish the death penalty, are exaggerated at best and, in most cases, misleading and false.

No “savings.” Alleged savings ignore increased life-time medical costs for aging inmates and require decreased security levels and housing 2-3 inmates per cell rather than one. Rather than spending 23 hours/day in their cell, inmates will be required to work. These changes will lead to increased violence for other inmates and guards and prove unworkable for these killers. Also, without the death penalty, the lack of incentive to plead the case to avoid the death penalty will lead to more trial and related costs and appeals.

No “accountability.” Max earnings for any inmate would amount to $383/year (assuming 100% of earnings went to victims), divided by number of qualifying victims. Hardly accounts for murdering a loved one.

No “full enforcement” as 729 inmates do not receive penalty given them by jurors. Also, for the 34,000 inmates serving life sentences, there will be NO increased penalty for killing a guard or another inmate. They’re already serving a life sentence.

Liberals are also trying to get rid of life sentences. (Human Rights Watch, Old Behind Bars, 2012.) This would lead to possible paroles for not only the 729 on death row, but the 34,000 others serving life sentences. On 9/30/12, Brown passed the first step, signing a bill to allow 309 inmates with life sentences for murder to be paroled after serving as little as 15 years. Life without parole is meaningless. Remember Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan. Convicted killers get out and kill again, such as Darryl Thomas Kemp, Kenneth Allen McDuff, and Bennie Demps.

Arguments of innocence bogus. Can’t identify one innocent person executed in CA. Can’t identify one person on CA’s death row who has exhausted his appeals and has a plausible claim of innocence. See http://cadeathpenalty.webs.com/

October 2, 2012 | 6:17 PM

Those are certainly some compelling numbers, CB. The one number I have a question about is the earnings for work provided by inmates. Are they compensating victims with the amount they earn, or the amount the prison earns from the products they produce? I’m guessing it’s the former, but I”m not sure. If it is the former, you’re right, it hardly adds up to just compensation.

Article Author
October 1, 2012 | 5:32 PM

What the heck? Can it be???? RV!! I missed you!!!! I look forward to reading your articles!!!! Love, Your Biggest Fan EVER!

October 1, 2012 | 6:16 PM

I’m undecided on whether I’ll vote yes or no to the death penalty… However, I LOVE the way you write; I can feel your passion, your words, point of view….. You always amaze me. I wish I could write like you…. Anyway, I recall several years ago standing on the steps at the capital against the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams. Today a friend of my 19yr old son was buried, he was shot and killed last week. I’m told bullets hailed outside the funeral…. I’ve attended two funerals of his friends. And I worry about his safety as I did 7 yrs ago with his older sibling. Heck, I don’t know if today I’d stand on the capital against the execution of Williams having experienced so many deaths, sadness and pain. I just don’t know… However one thing is clear I love your writing style!!- You make me stop and think!

October 2, 2012 | 6:11 PM

Hi Rhonda! I tired to connect with you on Facebook, but I’m guessing you never check your account!

How is your oldest son doing, I’ve been curious.

I’m sorry that things seem to be going the same way out there. Maybe we should get together and write something about it?

You can reach me at rvscheide@comcast.net. (and now so can anyone else!).

Article Author
October 3, 2012 | 11:39 AM

I never check facebook lol; my daughter tried to put me in the Jetson age; but I am still in Bedrock with the Flintstones lol; My oldest son is doing better…. We’re waiting on 9th circuit court to pick up the case, by the Grace of God, none of our appeals have been dismissed which enables us to climb the judicial ladder…. I’d love to get together again and discuss things. I’ve learned a great deal over the last few years and mainly that many within the community divided into victims and suspects have become commodities…. I will email you after the city hall session tonight and I look forward to speaking to you again. I really appreciate you and how you opened your heart to hear my cries. I was suffocating in pain running throughout this city…. R.V. You allowed me to breathe when I thought I’d die and have to bury my pain with me. You lifted me by giving us a voice. I have great respect for you.

October 2, 2012 | 11:54 PM

Scheide, the headline in your recent article in the Sacramento Press promises an article about why you’re for the death penalty. Where is that argument? You force the reader to go through paragraph after paragraph of stories about people you are aware of that have–or have not, faced the death penalty–all of which are irrelevant to your presumptive thesis. Nowhere do you establish or build an argument against the death penalty.

Did you really set out to write an article about why you’re against the death penalty? If so, how did you lose your way? If not, is the Sacramento Press headline writer to blame for misleading the reader?

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