I was glad to read the editorial “Death row’s elimination would save state money” (March 17). Washington taxpayers have wasted millions of dollars and spent 30 years trying to fix a death penalty system that still doesn’t work.
Research has shown that the death penalty does not deter crime. We already have an alternative that does keep our communities safe from those who commit the worst crimes: the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Washington has been hit hard by the economic crisis, with vital public services cut or even eliminated. Instead of wasting money on a broken death penalty system, we should spend scarce tax dollars on effective methods to prevent and solve crime. Public safety increases when we fund drug and alcohol treatment plans, mental health care, after-school programs, more police officers, additional law enforcement training and new crime labs.