As a lifelong death penalty activist, I appreciate Kenneth Hartman's passionate approach to the SAFE California Act to replace the death penalty with life without parole. We can eliminate the risk of executing even one innocent person in California with Proposition 34. That's why I am voting "YES" in November.
Prop. 34 uses a portion of the budget savings from replacing the death penalty for crime-solving. This means $100 million will go to the investigation of unsolved rape and murder cases. The fund is time-limited to three years.
This November, California voters will have the first chance EVER to decide between the death penalty and an alternate sentence. It is an historic opportunity that we must embrace.
"Killing California's Costly Death Penalty," is Tracy Oppenheimer's post at Reason.
Is the death penalty too expensive and ineffective to keep?
This November, California voters will have the chance to decide on that question by voting for or against a ballot initiative called SAFE (Savings Accountability Full Enforcement), which would replace the death penalty with life without possibility of parole as the state's maximum punishment.
Putting the moral issues of the death penatly aside, SAFE proponents argue that California's death penalty is costly to taxpayers and broken beyond repair.
“Over the last 32 years its cost California tax payers about 4 billion dollars to have the death penalty, and over that period only 13 executions have been carried out,” says LMU Law Professor Paula Mitchell.
Mitchell's study, "Rethinking the Death Penalty in California," shows that once the death penalty comes into play for a case, the legal costs skyrocket to an extra $134 million dollars per year, well above the cost to implement life without possibility of parole. Death penalty cases require more attorneys, more experts, and an automatic review by the California Supreme Court, making it a seemingly endless process.
Earlier coverage of the SAFE California ballot initiative , Prop 34, begins at the link.