The below comes courtesy of Mike Farrell, President of Death Penalty Focus, and will appear in the 11/23 issue of The Los Angeles Times:
October 18, 2008
Letter to the Editor, Los Angeles Times
The torture experienced by Joe Iberri (Dead Man Waiting, L.A. Times, 11/17/08) is the ultimate example of the utter uselessness of capital punishment. For this man to go through the past 27 years in excruciating pain, waiting for the law to deliver the “justice” it promised him, is inexcusable in a civilized society.
If the perpetrator of this vile crime had been sentenced 27 years ago to spend the rest of his life in prison without any possibility of parole, Mr. Iberri could have gone on with his own life. Instead, he has spent it obsessing over the inch-by-inch progress of Mr. Edwards’ journey through the labyrinthine system the U. S. Supreme Court has created in an attempt to make state killing meet Constitutional muster.
Millions of taxpayer dollars, part of which could have been used to help Mr. Iberri receive counseling to deal with his grief, have been wasted on a system the state insists will keep us safe and bring “closure” to the suffering and loss Mr. Iberri has experienced. As these 27 years have proven, society is safe with Mr. Edwards locked away, and, as Mr. Iberri himself says, there is no such thing as “closure” when one has lost a loved one to violence.
All our hearts go out to Mr. Iberri. The false promises made by apologists for a hideously expensive, dysfunctional, ineffective killing system shame us all while adding insult to his grievous injury.
President, Death Penalty Focus