<< Your Brain on Drugs.... | Main | Junk Psychobiology in the Courtroom >>

Misleading Half-Truth in Yes on 34 TV Ad

In the debate over California's death penalty repeal initiative, Proposition 34, the Yes side has a lot more money than the No side, much of it from out of state.  The Yes side has enough to run TV ads.  As is characteristic of the anti-death-penalty movement, the ad tells a misleading half truth.

The ad begins with a young actor playing then-16-year-old Franky Carrillo being arrested.  It then asserts he was wrongly convicted of murder.

The ad leaves out an essential fact.  Carrillo was never in danger of the death penalty.  At no time in modern history* has California allowed that penalty for anyone under 18 at the time of the offense.

Why do the proponents of Proposition 34 keep talking about irrelevant cases, either noncapital or non-California?  With the number of death sentences in California in the modern era approaching 1000, why don't they talk about a relevant case, where a person sentenced to death in this state is now known to be innocent?

Because they don't have any.  What does that tell us?  California prosecutors and juries have been very selective in the cases in which they seek and impose the death penalty.

* See, e.g., People v. Ellis, 206 Cal. 353, 356 (1929), citing a 1921 statute.

Update:  Howard Mintz has this story in the San Jose Mercury News.  Video of the Yes ad and the No ad (the latter only on the Internet, not television, unfortunately) are at the bottom of the story.


Prop. 34 proponents want to argue both sides. They create an expensive defense mechanism to ensue that no innocent person will be executed in California, which is effective. Now they want to argue that it's too expensive and we still are about to execute innocent people. Obviously they can't point to even one innocent person on California's death row or one innocent person having been executed. Logically, they would be better off to argue one side or the other. But when we have the left in CA voting based on emotions and not logic, they can pick one of two contradictory arguments presented by the same side and feel good about themselves. In fact, neither are true. The overall costs is minimal in the overall scheme of law enforcement costs and there are no chances of executing an innocent person. With Prop. 34, they take way the very funding inmates have to prove their innocence so, with Prop. 34, innocents will never be executed but will spend the rest of their lives in jail.

The deception of the Yes on 34 folks is disgusting.

Even anti death penalty Gov. Jerry Brown admits there is no proof that an innocent person has ever been executed in California. Joseph Brown, a man that has made a living going around the country saying he was 17 hours shy of execution in Florida and then exonerated, has been recently arrested for the murder of his wife in North Carolina on Sept. 13th .The far greater and realistic danger is what past experience has shown us: released killers kill again. Gov Pat Brown commuted sentences of three men who had been on death row ...they each killed innocent victims after their release. Death row inmates also kill other death row inmates. California have two such inmates that received a second death sentence for their prison murders.

The people that have created the delay and upped the costs are the proponents of Prop 34. Now they seek to rationalize their argument by saying it costs too much and there is too much delay. One of the most riculous arguments they make is that death row inmates have too many privileges and are coddled but this law would change that and make them work. These same folks filed suits to get most of those privileges. I would be happy to take away their single cells, televisions, limit their visits, and access to internet web sites where they can troll for pen pals and potential patsies. However, if I did that Natasha Pinsker and her ACLU buddies would be filing a lawsuit the next day. By the way, the law about inmates working has been on the books for many years and Prop 34 adds nothing to it.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives