To: Governor Richardson, staff and cabinet and
        Corrections Department and Police Agencies and media throughout New Mexico


From: Dudley Sharp, contact info, below


Dear Honorable Governor Richardson:


In addition to all of the pro-repeal arguments being weak or false (see below), the death penalty should remain as the just sanction for some of the worst crimes.


JUSTICE: The death penalty should remain in New Mexico because of justice. New Mexico is currently investigating serial murders which, to date, have reached 14 victims. Leave the death penalty option up to New Mexico jurors, for such cases as this, as well as the rape/murder of children and the murder of police officers and correction workers and other crimes.




The LFC fiscal evaluation wrongly found the North Carolina death penalty more expensive than a 20 year “life” sentence. It wasn’t. The was the only study cited (1)


Reasonable and responsible protocols,  currently in use, will produce a death penalty which will cost less or no more than LWOP. (2)


Example: Virginia executes in 5-7 years; 65% of those sentenced to death have been executed; 15% of their death penalty cases are overturned. With the high costs of long term imprisonment, a true life sentence will be more expensive than such a death penalty protocol. (2)


Most cost studies suffer from major problems, such as a) not crediting the death penalty for allowing plea bargains to a true life sentence ( $300,000 to $1 million savings or more, for each plea);  2) not including geriatric care for life sentences (cost of $60,000-$90, 000/year/inmate); c) deceptively inflating costs of executions, based upon putting all the costs of every death penalty case into those executed (see Florida); d) many more such problems, or even worse. (2)




Of all the government programs in the world, that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty? Unlikely.


Innocents are more protected because of enhanced due process, enhanced incapacitation and enhanced deterrence. (3)


Anti death penalty folks claims that 130 “innocents” have been released from death row,  nationally. Fact checking easily uncovers this as a scam. Study reviews have found that 70-83% of those claims are not credible. Possibly 25 “actual” innocents have been identified and released from death row. (4)


There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since 1900.


There is overwhelming proof that living murderers harm and murder, again. Executed ones don’t.



3)  16 recent studies find for DETERRENCE


16 recent studies, inclusive of their defenses, find for death penalty deterrence. No surprise. Life is preferred over death, death is feared more than life. (5)


There is a constant within all jurisdictions — negative consequences will always deter some – a truism.


NOTE: Repeal proponents bring up that many death penalty states have higher murder rates than non death penalty states. That has nothing to do with the deterrent effect failing, as fully explained to them and you in a previous email. (6)


Whether a jurisdiction has high murder rates or low ones, rather rising or lowering rates, the presence of the death penalty will produce fewer net murders, the absence of the death penalty will produce more net murders.


An analogy. Consider smoking. Whether a jurisdiction has high smoking rates or low ones, or rising or lowering rates, the knowledge of medical problems from smoking will produce fewer net smokers, the absence of any medical problems from smoking would produce more net smokers.




80% death penalty support, for specific capital murders, such as mass murder, serial murders, rape/murders, terrorism, etc. (6)


—   82% in the US favor executing Saddam Hussein, In Great Britain: 69%, France: 58%, Germany: 53%, Spain: 51%, Italy: 46%. , Le Monde (France) , 12/06 
—   81% support Timothy McVeigh’s execution – “the consensus of all major groups, including men, women, whites, nonwhites, “liberals” and “conservatives.” 16% oppose (Gallup 5/2/01).
—   85% of liberal Connecticut supported serial/rapist murderer Michael Ross’ “voluntary” execution. (Quinnipiac 1/12/05)
 —  79% support death penalty for terrorists (4/26/2007 New York State poll)
 —  78% of Nebraskans support death penalty for “heinous crimes.” 16% opposed. 76% opposed legislation to abolish. MPB Public Affairs Poll, 2/14/08)


Most quoted polls wrongly poll for murder, not capital murders. The death penalty is only an option in capital cases. Possibly, 10% of all murder cases are death eligible.  Those are the only cases relevant to death penalty polling.




The US death penalty is likely the least arbitrary and capricious criminal sanctions in the US. About 60,000 murders qualified for a death penalty eligible trial, since 1973. 8000 murderers were so sentenced or 13% of those eligible. Based upon pre trial, trial, appellate and clemency/commutation realities and that high percentage (13%) of receiving the maximum sentence (absent mandatory sentences) the death penalty must be the least arbitrary and capricious sanction.




Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part,  is approved with proper attribution.
Respectfully submitted, Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail,  713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O’Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally


1) “LFC Fiscal Error: Death Penalty Repeal –  For Senate Judiciary Committee Record”
        email to Senate, 3/9/2009 6:11:28 P.M. Central Daylight Time

2)  “Cost Savings: The Death Penalty: For Senate Judiciary Committee Record”, email to     Senate,  3/9/2009 4:45:21 P.M. Central Daylight Time

3)  “Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents”   NM, email to Governor Richardson, legislature and media, 3/4/2009 2:49:23 P.M. Central Daylight Time

4) “The death row 130 “innocents” scam”  NM, email to Governor Richardson,     legislature and media,   3/4/2009 1:36:11 P.M. Central Standard Time

5) “The Death Penalty is a Deterrent – 16 Recent Studies”,  NM, email to Governor Richardson, legislature and media on  3/4/2009 1:31:35 P.M. Central Daylight Time

6)  “Death Penalty and Deterrence: Let’s be clear”  NM, email to Governor Richardson, legislators and media on  3/4/2009 1:52:09 P.M. Central Standard Time

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