California’s death penalty stats

California reinstated capital punishment in 1978. Since then 82 inmates have died from natural causes, 27 have died by suicide and 13 have been executed in the state of California. Eight people — including Franklin — have died and are awaiting a cause of death while 14 have died from other causes, according to the release.

Even in executions individual voluntary action is more efficient than the State.

20 thoughts on “California’s death penalty stats”

  1. “Eight people — including Franklin — have died and are awaiting a cause of death”

    They are waiting?

    (What does this cost the State of California?)

  2. The numbers are, one would assume, all deaths in prison, not just on death row. So evidence of outcomes that are not (with the exception of the death row inmates) intended by the state. So a slightly different type of inefficiency than the one you are implying.

  3. The numbers are, one would assume, all deaths in prison

    I would expect rather more than 82 deaths in all Californian prisons in 42 years, given the yank propensity to multiple-century sentences.

  4. The Meissen Bison

    Far be it from me to challenge a highly qualified snarkologist, but I should imagine that 3.4 deaths per annum out of a prison population of some 200,000 was suprisingly low but then what’s one man’s assumption against another’s implication 🙂

  5. OT, but talking of deaths, Tim, in your CapX piece today –
    https://capx.co/loosening-the-lockdown-is-not-about-money-vs-lives/
    – I was surprised to see you concede that “there’s no doubt that over time a significant loss of GDP will kill people”.

    Even without distinguishing between killing and letting die, I am not convinced that there’s “no doubt” about this vague statement.

    Moreover, you’ve just handed the anti-austerity campaigners (who claim the recent ‘austerity’ killed 130,000 people) and socialists (who claim socialism avoids recessions) an argument to use against you/us in future…

  6. It’s highly feasible if California, like most places, lets prisoners on the brink of death out to die at home.

  7. I’ve just used their argument against them. If austerity kills people then so does a fall in GDP. You can’t claim that less money on the NHS kills people then claim that a smaller economy spending less on the NHS doesn’t kill people.

  8. You can make a couple of pretty good arguments against the death penalty. First, it is a bit inconsistent to believe that government is inadequate at almost everything except determining whether someone is guilty of a capital crime or not. Anyone who’s ever been through a court case (and mine have fortunately just been civil cases) quickly comes to realize that it is basically just trial by combat. People do lie under oath; juries can be inattentive; judges can be prejudiced. Secondly, there is sufficient opposition to the death penalty that every case will be litigated like mad and that is very, very expensive. It probably is cheaper to lock them up for life.

    On the other hand, many people figure that once the death penalty is abolished the next fight the left will wager will be to eliminate life sentences in favor of a few months picking up litter and perhaps writing a thousand times on a black board “I will sin no more”.

  9. A key data point missing is the number of attempted suicides. Absent guns, it is typically 10+ attempts to one success(?). So if the government is executing around 1 in 6 of those it intends to then it is more efficient than those who intend to do it to themselves. In this bizarre instance.

  10. “I’ve just used their argument against them. If austerity kills people then so does a fall in GDP. You can’t claim that less money on the NHS kills people then claim that a smaller economy spending less on the NHS doesn’t kill people.”

    So if Brexit were to lead to a fall in GDP, remainiacs would say Brexit has killed people – and they could add that Leaver Tim Worstall must agree because he holds that falls in GDP kill.

    And it is highly arguable whether either austerity or gdp falls kills anyone.

  11. @TD, these are not arguments against the death penalty, they are arguments against the legal process. In the case of the Drummer Rigby murder, was there any doubt about guilt?
    @Theophrastus, it would take a fall in GDP greater than the money sent to the EU for which we get nowt before it counts. And what if we do better? Leaving the EU saves lives? It has certainly saved my voice from needing to shout at the TV so often!

  12. @Theophrastus
    @Tim W

    Re: @Tim CapX

    Open where possible, closed where necessary – Don’t make/Let the Cure Be Worse Than Problem

    Steve Hilton discusses how economic shutdowns have impacted Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Lockdown Cure and MSM Doom & Panic Mongering: Suicides rapidly increasing
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWS6A5aYg0A

    Steve is correct, the Left are the sewage of society and lockdown can rapidly do more harm than good to financial, physical & mental health causing more deaths than lives prolonged by a few months

    Full show
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKSWOAW1hWM

  13. The compelling reason that we couldn’t usefully restore the death penalty in Britain is that enough jurors would ignore their oath and find murderers not guilty.

  14. dearieme: That’s not jurors ignoring their oath, but a perfectly valid decision by a jury as to whether they – representing current society – beleive the law – representing legislation by definition from the past – is applicable.

  15. Yes, California still has a death penalty. It is still used by some District Attorneys and confirmed by some juries. However,we have a Governor who has vowed never to carry it out, along with a majority of the State Supreme Court. The government is a little gun-shy about outright banning the death penalty because a couple of Supreme Court justices lost their jobs over it back in the 80’s.

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