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Taking the Initiative

Officer Larry Lasater of the Pittsburg, California Police Department would have been 44 today.  The thug who gunned him down sits on California's death row.  He has been there six years with no end in sight.  Regrettably, the California Legislature is run by people who care more about murderers than victims and who have repeatedly killed the reforms needed to complete these cases in a reasonable time.

Today an initiative was filed with the California Attorney General to take the reform question directly to the people.  If the requisite number of signatures can be gathered, it will be on the ballot in the November 2014 election. 

Drafted by a committee including yours truly, it will, if approved, fix the key problems that are actually wrong with current law, not to be confused with the intentional misdiagnosis of the majority report of John Burton's stacked commission.

I will have a full paper later explaining the reforms, what is actually wrong, and why these reforms will fix what is actually wrong.

There is little doubt that the people will vote for reform if given the choice between reform and the status quo.  Last year, given the unpalatable choice of repeal versus the status quo, a majority voted to keep the death penalty despite a massive funding advantage for the other side.  Given a choice between the status quo and a set of reforms that will make the death penalty effective and save taxpayer dollars at the same time, a landslide is likely.

The website for Californians for Death Penalty Reform & Savings is here, and it is also linked in the Links segment of this blog.


I am so proud to be part of this battle to reform the death penalty in California so that it actually works, and families don't have to wait decades for justice. Kermit Alexander, the proponent of this initiative, had his mother, sister and two young nephews murdered in their home in 1984. Their killer has exhausted all appeals, and habeas petitions. Yet he sits on death row while the Alexander family, like many others, continue their decades long wait for justice. The time for reform is now, and your support for this worthy cause is needed. Posted by mom of Pittsburg Police Officer Larry Lasater who was murdered 4/24/2005

This entry is now posted on Crime and Capital Punishment. http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/
Hopefully, members and guests from California will sign the petition and get this long-overdue initiative on the ballot. Well done, Kent & Co.!

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