You are viewing the “adjustment center, ” known as “the hole” where those with the most” violent and bad behavior” are housed. Mr. Sernoffsky, a writer for the Chronicle and other reporters, were granted a tour of the death row facility at San Quentin prison on December 29, 2015. The prison houses the largest population (700) of death row inmates in the country This blog is a review of Mr. Sernoffsky’s findings. It’s about the death row inmates, their prison conditions, and is in line with our series of blogs devoted to the controversial subject of the death penalty in the United States.
Mr. Sernoffsky wrote about the inmate’s complaints. As the reporters came within earshot of the cells, the prisoners registered their issues. Some complained about short and cold showers, others about spoiled milk, and others about dirty food trays. Do they deserve this and more for the heinous crimes they have committed? Scrolling through the nine photos by Michael Macor, one, in particular was cause not to think about spoiled milk, but to contemplate an old man sitting in quiet repose being photographed. Does he still have “violent and bad behavior” – this decrepit and frail old man, Doug Clark! Look at his picture. What do you think?
How dangerous is this person, who has been at San Quetin and on death row since 1983? Why not let these old men out? Simply open the door and alleviate overcrowding and cruelty. Mr. Seronoffsky commented; “death likely won’t come at the end of a needle in the facility’s lethal-injection chamber.” Death will be from old age, sickness, or suicide, to these long-term inmates who incidentally cost taxpayers $103,000 per year to house them.
Before we succumb to a moment of compassion regarding Doug Clark; a thorough investigation about this person became necessary. He was and still is “a serial murderer dubbed one of the ‘“Sunset Strip Killers,” and whose gruesome slayings of prostitutes in the 80s had Los Angelenos in a panic. Here are some of the newspaper headlines posted during his reign of terror.
After watching this documentary, enlightenment occurred. Learning more about this serial killer and what made him commit these crimes was insightful. He was a narcissistic and preyed upon innocent, young prostitutes. He validated his actions to no one. He stalked older women like his accomplice, Carol Bundy, because she was an easy target for him. He could seduce her into doing his dirty work – murder. A broken home, instability and divorce, may be part to blame. Doug Clark and Carol Bundy paid a horrible price, as did the young victims. However, society ultimately pays the price for long-term incarceration, and the victim’s families pay for their loss many times over.
“Can a serial killer be rehabilitated through incarceration?” We think not. If Doug Clark were to be set free, would he kill again? Yes! It appears serial killers have an addiction – killing. His obsession became a frenzy of butchery with decapitations and necrophelia. Watch the documentary for a complete explanation. He would he kill again maybe not by his hand, though. He appears physically feeble (we presume). He may manipulate a younger person to do his bidding. Mr. Clark is extremely smart. He wants it his way – that’s a narcissist! Did his feeble appearance in the photo disarm me? Yes, that’s his ploy. These dangerous predators need to be locked up.
Let’s get back to Mr. Sernoffsky’s article. He states there are “supporters of two competing ballot initiatives – one seeks to scrap executions, while the other is trying to fast-track them…” both “were cleared to gather signatures in hopes of changing state’s laws.” In closing, should these initiatives make it to the ballot next election, which one would you support: #1scrap executions, or #2 fast-track executions?