NEW VOICES: Kenneth Starr Says Death Penalty System Not Working Properly

Former special prosecutor Kenneth Starr recently voiced concerns about the way the death penalty is being applied.  Starr, who now serves as Dean of the Pepperdine Law School, is assisting in the representation of death row inmate Michael Morales.  Morales is scheduled for execution on February 21 in California.

Starr said, "Society is not equipped to handle death penalty cases because of resources.  Large law firms are not willing at this stage to take these cases on, at a cost of many thousands of dollars, in order to make sure that if the public wants the death penalty, it is not administered with arbitrariness and caprice."

He said he supports capital punishment, "reserved for the most heinous crimes but enshrouded with the most exquisite safeguards. ... This is not frontier justice."

Regarding his client who is facing execution, Starr said, "It will be an act of illegality for this execution to go forward next week, and people should be upset about that."

(San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 17, 2006).  See New Voices.