Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Initiative To Abolish Death Penalty On CA Ballot

Interesting news! For the third time in 40 years, Californians will vote on whether they would like to abolish the state's death penalty, converting all capital sentences to life in prison without parole. Thanks to a new law signed by Governor Brown, all ballot measures must appear on November statewide general elections, not primary elections.

This will be the first time in over 20 years that Californians will be able to vote on the death penalty, which is has not been in effect since 2006 due to a court order.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Opponents of capital punishment said Thursday they were submitting 800,000 signatures on petitions for an initiative to close the nation's largest Death Row, which has 725 condemned prisoners. The measure needs 504,760 valid signatures to make the ballot.

"California voters are ready to replace the death penalty with life in prison with no chance of parole," declared Jeanne Woodford, who oversaw four executions as warden of San Quentin State Prison. She now heads the anti-capital-punishment group Death Penalty Focus.

It was an unusually optimistic statement in a state whose residents have consistently supported the death penalty. The most recent Field Poll, in September, showed 68 percent support - although respondents in the same survey, when asked their preferred sentence for murder, backed life without parole over death, 48 to 40 percent.
MadProfessah has long been an opponent of capital punishment, not only because of its racially discriminatory application (Black people who kill white people are much more likely to get the death penalty than white people who kill black people) but due to the principle that the legal system can never be 100% accurate and the state should not kill people to show that killing people is wrong. I have been a member of Amnesty International since college, and it works to eliminate the death penalty around the world.

Looking forward to vote YES to eliminate the death penalty and replace it with a much more cost-effective life without parole. I hope all readers will join me in voting YES on this ballot measure!

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