Voices from California's Death Row

Brian David Johnsen J-25500

The answers to your 6 questions follow:

1.      No! I’d rather die than spend the rest of my life in prison with no appeal and no parole. Not everyone convicted is actually guilty of every charge they’ve been convicted of. Some are completely guilty, some are only partially guilty, and some are completely innocent. If you wanted to kill somebody and avoid a prison sentence, wouldn’t you find a “Patsy” to take the fall for your crime?  750 plus people on the row – are you saying there are no Patsy’s here?  Or, are you saying you can’t be bothered to give a damn one way or the other? ……. Appeals provide our checks and balances and separate the innocent from the guilty. So what if appeals are expensive! They’re necessary. They serve a necessary function. Anyone can become somebody’s Patsy, even you, your children, or your friend or loved ones. Will you care how expensive the appeal system is on that day?

2.      I can’t think of an idea I hate more than that. LWOPP with no appeal system? Ridiculous, and utterly devoid of all hope. It’s also a license to kill. An LWOPPer can commit any crime he wants, not only against other inmates, but also against prison guards and staff. Who will charges? Who will care? Why prosecute when you can’t alter the prisoner’s sentence? Such prisoners have absolutely no hope of ever tasting freedom again, and no consequences for any crimes they commit, and thus, no incentive to behave. No incentive to be a model prisoner. And, these prisoners are not separated from prisoners that still have a chance of parole. Prisoners who want to behave can’t survive in such an environment. They must become as vicious and deadly as those they most do time with, and if they survive long enough to get parole…you’ll see them again on the streets. Go to prison as a burglar, robber, check forger, whatever, and killer gets paroled. This ballot initiative doesn’t separate the hopeless LWOPPer from the hopeful parolees. Did you know that Condemned Prisoners are the best behaved prisoners in the entire state? We have the appeal system, so we still have hope.  LWOPPers don’t have any hope. Why would any sane prisoner want to trade a hopeful lie for a hopeless one?

3.      Nothing wrong with that.

4.      If the prisoners were making more than $50.00 a month, that might be a reasonable idea. But, prisoners make less than $40 per month, and you want 60% of that? A prisoners has more incentive to get fired than to get a job. This percentage is not reasonable.

5.      Both initiatives should be tossed in the trash, as they both create more problems than they solve. If you wanted to create a decent initiative you should’ve spoken to us first. We could’ve helped you out. Both of these initiatives are worthless. Bothe are drafted by idiots who never had a clue what was good for both sides. Hard to say which is worse.

6.      The Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act (ed.note: Prop 66) will cost the State more money than it does already. DP convicts require extra security; handcuffed escorting everywhere; feeding the in the cell, not cafeteria, 10 different yards to separate all the different people who don’t get along, single cell housing,n o cellmates, different property rules, different Operational Procedures, different visiting rules, etc…This Act doesn’t change any of that. San Quentin gets major extra funding from the State for all these special needs. Now you want to spread Condemned Prisoners all over the state without changing all these special needs? So, now you’ll have another 20 plus prisons in this state requisitioning all the additional funding that at present only San Quentin gets? How can you think this is a good idea?  If this Act passes, more than half of it will get destroyed or rendered unenforceable from all the lawsuits it will set off, and guess who will be paying for all those lawsuits?

From Brian David Johnsen