The end of the death penalty?

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Can we shut down the death chamber?

Could 2012 be the year when we finally end the death penalty in California? It's entirely possible. The polls now show a majority of people in the state support replacing the death penalty with life without parole. There's a growing movement against executions (in part because of the cost , in part because it doesn't work (most death-row inmates die of old age before they are killed) in part because it's so grisly -- and, of course, in part because it's barbaric and has been outlawed in most of the civilized worle.

And the ACLU and a wide range of allies are now starting to gather signatures for what will be a well-funded, well-organized ballot initiative campaign next November.

It's the right time (a presidential election year), the right coalition (including law-enforcement folks, wrongfully incarcerated people and victims' families), and the right message. The first step is to gather signatures; go the the web site here and sign up to help.

Comments

But most voters support the retention of capital punishment for the most heinous cases. The issue is more restricting it to just those.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 28, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

As a murder victim family member whose brother was murdered 8 years ago I would like you to know that 46% of heinous homicides in California are unsolved. We are wasting billions of dollars and despite over 30 years of sincere efforts we have not been able to "fix" the death penalty. The reason that public opinion has shifted is because fixing this mess will cost more and we don't have more to spend.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 31, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

whether we should retain the death penalty.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 31, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

Why would any one allow and trust any government entity to execute its citizens?
Abolish the Death penalty!

Posted by SF T Party on Oct. 28, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

It is a barbaric practice that serves no end except to satisfy some ghoulish fantasy. If executions stopped murder how come we still have murders a century after we established the death penalty? Not all murders get killed only those who are poor and minorities. If we killed all the people who committed murders we would run out of the poisons we inject into people veins and there would be a corpse a day piling up.

Posted by Guest Denise on Oct. 28, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

If there's going to be a death penalty for human persons, then there needs to be a death penalty for corporate persons and their boards of directors, shareholders and executive staffs.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 29, 2011 @ 8:49 am

Thanks for telling us about this - I just gave them some money and will be looking forward to getting out the vote for this one! As prop 8 proved, obvious/just propositions don't always play well in red CA counties, this will take some elbow grease and commitment

Posted by Trevor on Oct. 31, 2011 @ 1:57 am

And The Guardian knows this - this is a campaign doomed from the start and represents an extreme waste of progressive money, time and talent.

Posted by Bees Nees on Oct. 31, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

The arguments in support of the SAFE Act ballot measure are exaggerated at best and, in most cases, misleading and erroneous. See cadeathpenalty.webs.com for a good analysis of SAFE's arguments.

"By 2:1, CA Voters Back Death Penalty: 61% of registered voters from the state of California say they would vote to keep the death penalty, should a death penalty initiative appear on the November 2012 ballot, according to this latest SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KGTV-TV San Diego, KPIX-TV San Francisco, KFSN-TV Fresno, and KABC-TV Los Angeles. 29% say they would vote to eliminate the death penalty. Keeping the death penalty law in California is supported by a majority among all groups except liberals, who are divided." (SurveyUSA News Poll #19044.)

in September 2011, the voter opinion toward keeping the death penalty was higher than it was in 2000 (63%) and the percentage since then has ranged between 63% and 72% for registered California voters. (The Field Poll) In addition, "very large majorities of both Republicans (81%) and non-partisans (70%) support keeping the death penalty as a punishment alternative. But, a smaller majority of Democrats (57%) also favors its continuation." (The Field Poll)

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2012 @ 4:26 pm