This is a test. I want to see (1) how many people read The Shout and [more importantly] (2) whether blogs can have any effect on the political process.

The laboratory for this test is San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris’ decision not to seek the death penalty against the 21-year-old accused of killing 29-year-old S.F. Police Officer Isaac Espinoza with an AK-47 assault rifle. Harris ran for office on an anti-death penalty platform, sick a position most San Franciscans agree with. Nonetheless, tadalafil Harris was verbally attacked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein at Espinoza’s funeral for sticking to principle. The Police Officers’ union was then emboldened to challenge the new D.A.’s power, allergy and ask for state, or even federal, officials to take the case away from her. Sadly, even Senator Boxer has gotten into the mix, asking the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the case. In response, I have taken my Boxer bumper sticker out of my car and put my button away.

Kamala Harris could use our help. She, and our Senators, and other local politicians, and the news media, need to know that San Franciscans don’t support the death penalty. Its not because we’ve never imagined that someone might kill a police officer. Its because we think that killing is wrong, whether its the state or an individual, because we think that the system doesn’t work well enough to dole out the ultimate penalty, because, in the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun (who 18 years earlier had voted to restore the death penalty) we don’t want politicians to “tinker with the machinery of death” in our names.

To that end, send a letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, to Kamala Harris, to Mayor Newsom and to Senators Boxer and Feinstein, telling them that you support D.A. Harris’ decision. Then drop a comment here, and tell us what you’ve done, and whether you got any kind of response.