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.