Former San Quentin Warden Condemns Death Penalty
Jeanne Woodford, the former director of the California Department of Corrections, is also the former warden of San Quentin State Prison, where she presided over four executions. She isn't soft on crime. Yet Woodford no longer believes that executions are necessary to society's safety. Her argument is pragmatic: life imprisonment is "cheaper -- much, much cheaper than execution." Yet she also confronts the ethical question:
To say that I have regrets about my involvement in the death penalty is to let myself off the hook too easily. To take a life in order to prove how much we value another life does not strengthen our society. It is a public policy that devalues our very being and detracts crucial resources from programs that could truly make our communities safe.
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