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DP Repeal Proponents "Intellectually Dishonest"

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Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Breton has this piece today:

If you're going to argue against the death penalty, then argue against the death penalty....

But to argue against the death penalty by stating it's too expensive for California is intellectually dishonest and disrespectful to the victims of the state's most heinous criminals.

Yet that is what proponents of Proposition 34 are doing. The November ballot initiative seeks to repeal California's death penalty law and allow death row inmates to be resentenced to life without parole.

The same people pushing for Proposition 34 - the American Civil Liberties Union, among others - are the ones primarily responsible for California spending too much on death row prisoners in the first place.

Legal delays caused by the ACLU and others are a big reason why California has executed only 13 people since 1978 at a cost of $4 billion.

And yes, those numbers are obscene - just as it's obscene that California has 729 death row inmates.

But Proposition 34 will fail as an argument about money because 68 percent of Californians support the death penalty, according to a 2011 Field Poll.

But a money argument? Who in California believes it anymore when ballot initiatives claim big savings being one "yes" vote away?

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It's not extremely expensive to house serial killers and child rapists until they die? This is not to mention the horrific stories of people victimized by death row inmates - stories that will be detailed in future columns.

In truth, executions could be sped up if not for the efforts of Proposition 34 proponents.

It would be nice if some of them argued the courage of their convictions before Election Day.

3 Comments

Not to get too far ahead of things here, but, if Proposition 34 is voted down, can Governor Brown then commute every death row inmate's death sentence? I sure hope not!

"The Governor may not grant a pardon or commutation to a person twice convicted of a felony except on recommendation of the Supreme Court, 4 of the judges concurring." (Cal. Const. art. V §8(a).)

The arguments in support of the ballot measure to abolish the death penalty are exaggerated at best and, in most cases, misleading and erroneous. Proposition 34 is being funded primarily by a wealthy company out of Chicago, the ACLU, and similarly-oriented trust funds. It includes provisions that would only make our prisons less safe for both other prisoners and prison officials and significantly increase the costs to taxpayers due to life-time medical costs, the increased security required to coerce former death-row inmates to work, etc. The amount “saved” in order to help fund law enforcement is negligible and only for a short period of time. Bottom line, the “SAFE” Act is an attempt by those who are responsible for the high costs and lack of executions to now persuade voters to abandon it on those grounds. Obviously, these arguments would disappear if the death penalty was carried forth in accordance with the law. Get the facts at and supporting evidence at http://cadeathpenalty.webs.com and http://waiting4justice.org/.

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