“Only one person is blessed with the life-saving power to grant clemency to the 739 souls on California’s death row. For the next few days, that person is Jerry Brown.”
With those words in his San Francisco Chronicle editorial, “Governor — commute the death sentences of 300 youthful offenders,” DPF President Mike Farrell called on Gov. Jerry Brown to grant clemency to the state’s death row before he leaves office on Monday.
Pointing out that Brown has shown great mercy to many youthful offenders sentenced to life or extremely long prison sentences because of their immaturity, and scientific evidence that our brains aren’t fully developed until we’re at least 25 years old, Farrell asks why Brown hasn’t extended that same compassion to the youthful offenders who were sentenced to death.
“How can we call it justice when one teenager has been spared and offered programs of rehabilitation that can lead to early release when another teen, convicted of a similar crime, continues to suffer, condemned to die at the hands of the state?” Farrell asks.