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Cal. DP Repeal Attempt

Having failed to get even California's criminal-friendly Legislature to put a death penalty repeal measure on the ballot, opponents are now going the initiative route.  Sam Stanton has this article in the Sacramento Bee.

Patt Morrison hosted this discussion on KPCC radio with Don Heller and yours truly.

Heller likes to promote himself as the "author" of the 1978 initiative, for the purpose of implying that his conversion to the other side has some sort of extra weight.  The actual driving force behind the initiative was a state senator named John Briggs.  Heller was tapped to do the drafting work, which he proceeded to do badly.  If I had drafted this thing, I would keep quiet about it.  Anyhow, Heller's conversion really means nothing special.

An initiative that simply puts a choice between repeal and the status quo presents a false dilemma.  What really needs to be put before the people is a choice between repeal and the reforms that the Legislature has killed over the years, reforms that would give us an effective death penalty at an affordable price.  However, qualifying an initiative in California takes buckets of money.

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