Dear Editor:

San Mateo County D.A. Stephen Wagstaffe (along with the district attorneys of San Bernardino and Riverside counties) has appealed the stays of execution granted to some prisoners on California's death row, even though Gov. Gavin Newsom has placed a moratorium on executions. At issue is California's method of execution, lethal injection.

I, like Gov. Newsom, believe capital punishment is morally wrong.

It does not deter crime, save money or necessarily provide closure to victims' families. Innocent people have been executed, juveniles and persons with developmental disabilities have been executed, and others have received the death penalty despite egregiously unfair trials. Accused persons who are Black or brown are more likely to receive the death penalty — and so are people living in certain counties.

Wagstaffe apparently believes that the death penalty is the will of the people. Yet, in San Mateo County, as your reporter points out (Review, March 17), 57 percent voted to repeal the death penalty in 2016.

Both prisoners convicted in this county who would face capital punishment if the moratorium were lifted allegedly committed horrific crimes. But the alternative to the death penalty is not going free. It is life without the possibility of parole. That seems morally justifiable to me.

Should we kill people who kill people? Not in my name.

Vaughn Harrison

El Granada

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