Julie Driscoll: Yes, Former Governor Rod Blagojevich is guilty as sin, his conviction was just and he should do time – but not more time than your average violent criminal in Illinois.
Richard C. Dieter: The public is deeply skeptical of the capital punishment process, shocked at its enormous costs, and quite ready to replace it with alternative sentences.
Andrea Nill Sanchez: Statistics released this week revealed that Hispanics now comprise nearly half of all people sentenced for federal felony crimes, a number swollen by immigration offenses.
Diane Lefer: Youth in life without parole cases are often acting under the influence of an adult. In nearly 70 percent of California LWOP cases in which the youth was not acting alone, at least one codefendant was an adult.
David Holtzman: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can help. In what very little time he has left in office, he can give his legacy a considerable boost by commuting the state’s hundreds of pending death sentences to life in prison without possibility of release. As a Los Angeles resident on the world’s stage, he should be sensitive to his image at home and abroad.
Diane Lefer: Though the Supreme Court ruled on May 17 in Graham v. Florida that juveniles must not be sentenced to life without parole for any crime short of homicide, California continues to impose sentences so extreme they are the effective equivalent of life without the possibility of parole.