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Yes on 34 Campaign Press Release on Polls

The Yes on 34 campaign has this press release:

Statement by Natasha Minsker, Campaign Manager, YES on 34 Campaign
"Every poll that asks voters about Proposition 34 using the actual language of the initiative, including the most recent Field Poll and a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll, shows that the Proposition 34 race is too close to call with large segments of undecided voters.... 
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When asked about the actual initiative, the Los Angeles Times poll reveals that voters are tied. Those who favor Proposition 34 are at 44% and those who oppose it are at 46%, with 10% undecided and a margin of error of +/- 2.0 percentage points."
Really?  By "too close to call" does she mean "within the margin of error"?  If so, that is not correct.  The Business Roundtable / Pepperdine Poll gives the respondent the ballot language and has "no" ahead of "yes" by greater than the margin of error.  This biweekly poll has been run 7 times, and 6 times including the most recent it has had this result.

The statement could be defended as not literally false by saying that "too close to call" means we are still a month out, some people saying no might change their minds, or it is remotely conceivable that all of the undecideds might break for "yes."  If that is the intended meaning, it is true but merely knocking down a straw man.  Nobody thought the conclusion was certain at this point.


I've noticed that California seems to have absolutely the vilest death-row inmates in the country. I've never come across any death sentences in California for, say, a hold-up with one victim or one drug dealer murdering another one (e.g. the Justin Wolfe case in Virginia).

California's death sentences almost always seem to have multiple victims and/or rape and/or torture. Does California have more truly sick puppies per capita than other states? If so, what do you attribute it to?

I mean, I've yet to come across a California death sentence where I've had any doubt at all that the condemned deserved capital punishment, unlike some other states where, occasionally, a death sentence has been at least questionable (e.g. Wolfe or Texas' Kenneth Foster).

More "sick puppies"? Absolutely. Per capita? I'm not sure. We have a lot of "capita."

California's rate of death sentences per thousand murders is a little over half the rate for death penalty states generally, so the death penalty is clearly being applied more selectively here.

Texas, BTW, is average on this statistic. Don't mess with Delaware.

Q: How can you tell which side knows it's losing?

A: It's the side that starts picking at the polls.

The 729 on death row murdered at least 1,279 people, with 230 children. 43 were police officers. 211 were raped, 319 were robbed, 66 were killed in execution style, and 47 were tortured. 11 murdered other inmates.

The arguments in support of Pro. 34, the ballot measure to abolish the death penalty, are exaggerated at best and, in most cases, misleading and false.

No “savings.” Alleged savings ignore increased life-time medical costs for aging inmates and require decreased security levels and housing 2-3 inmates per cell rather than one. Rather than spending 23 hours/day in their cell, inmates will be required to work. These changes will lead to increased violence for other inmates and guards and prove unworkable for these killers. Also, without the death penalty, the lack of incentive to plead the case to avoid the death penalty will lead to more trial and related costs and appeals.

No “accountability.” Max earnings for any inmate would amount to $383/year (assuming 100% of earnings went to victims), divided by number of qualifying victims. Hardly accounts for murdering a loved one.

No “full enforcement” as 729 inmates do not receive penalty given them by jurors. Also, for the 34,000 inmates serving life sentences, there will be NO increased penalty for killing a guard or another inmate. They’re already serving a life sentence.

Efforts are also being made to get rid of life sentences. (Human Rights Watch, Old Behind Bars, 2012.) This would lead to possible paroles for not only the 729 on death row, but the 34,000 others serving life sentences. On 9/30/12, Brown passed the first step, signing a bill to allow 309 inmates with life sentences for murder to be paroled after serving as little as 15 years. Life without parole is meaningless. Remember Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan. Convicted killers get out and kill again, such as Darryl Thomas Kemp, Kenneth Allen McDuff, and Bennie Demps.

Arguments of innocence bogus. Can’t identify one innocent person executed in CA. Can’t identify one person on CA’s death row who has exhausted his appeals and has a plausible claim of innocence. See http://cadeathpenalty.webs.com/

The Kenneth Foster death sentence was not questionable. Foster was part of a group that cruised around San Antonio robbing people. The eventual murder victim in the case was followed to his home by Foster and Co. and was executed. Foster knew what he was getting into and should have been executed. Rick Perry wussed out on that one, and Texas has to pay to incarcerate this animal for the rest of his life.

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