California Hanging Judge Calls For Abolishing Death Penalty To Help Balance State Budget Former California Superior Court Judge Donald McCartin, a self-described right-wing Republican who earned the nickname the hanging judge for the numerous death penalty sentences he handed out, penned an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times yesterday calling on California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and the state legislature to abolish the death penalty. Doing so, McCartin writes, would save the state hundreds of millions of dollars that could go toward filling the states $25 billion budget gap: I watch today as Gov. Brown wrestles with the massive debt that is suffocating our state and hear him say he doesnt want to play games. But I cringe when I learn that not playing games amounts to cuts to kindergarten, cuts to universities, cuts to people with special needs and I hear no mention of the simple cut that would save hundreds of millions of dollars, countless man-hours, unimaginable court time and years of emotional torture for victims family members waiting for that magical sense of closure theyve been falsely promised with death sentences that will never be carried out. [...] Its time to stop playing the killing game. Lets use the hundreds of millions of dollars well save to protect some of those essential services now threatened with death. Lets stop asking people like me to lie to those victims family members. Indeed, the Northern California chapter of the ACLU estimates that California spends $137 million each year on death penalty cases, mostly on legal fees, including the mandatory appeals process. In contrast, the alternative of permanent imprisonment would cost just $11 million. In addition to saving $125 million each year, abolishing the death penalty would allow the state to forgo its plan to build a new $400 million death row facility at San Quentin State Prison, a project that was put on hold earlier this year, bringing total savings to more than $1 billion over the next five years. California Hanging Judge Calls For Abolishing Death Penalty To Help Balance State Budget I don't care WHY it's abolished, I just want it abolished...if it saves money too...BONUS!!!