Drumbeat Builds for Ballot Initiative to Replace Broken Death Penalty with Justice That Works
SAN FRANCISCO – Two powerful California institutions have endorsed the “Yes on 34” SAFE California ballot initiative over the course of the last few days.
The California Democratic Party endorsed the measure to replace the death penalty with a sentence of life in prison without parole on Sunday. Prop 34 will also require convicted killers to work in prison and pay into the victims’ compensation fund and directs $100 million of the significant budget savings to investigate unsolved rape and murder cases. The endorsement comes days after the Legislative Analyst Office issued its official analysis finding that Prop 34 will save California taxpayers $130 million per year.
“We are enormously pleased that the California Democratic Party unanimously endorsed “Yes on 34.” The only way to be sure that we will never execute an innocent person in this state is to replace the death penalty with a punishment of life in prison with no chance of parole,” said Jeanne Woodford the official proponent of Proposition 34. As former warden of San Quentin State Prison, Ms. Woodford oversaw four executions.
The California Labor Federation endorsed the “Yes on 34” campaign on Thursday, July 26.
“Many people think that the death penalty is cheaper than life in prison without the possibility of parole. The California Labor Federation knows that is simply not true,” added Woodford. “People work hard and make tough economic choices across California every day. We must redirect the millions of tax dollars now wasted on the death penalty to solve more rapes and murders and to help our kids’ schools.”
A full list of campaign endorsements is here. The “Yes on 34” campaign has been endorsed by the League of Women Voters, the California Catholic Conference of Bishops, and the California State NAACP, as well as hundreds of law enforcement professionals and victims.
Ms. Woodford expressed confidence in the upcoming November vote, explaining that it would be the first of its kind in the state.
“This is the first time voters will be able to vote for swift and severe punishment in the form of life in prison with absolutely no chance of parole. Voters have never been presented with an alternative that will save our very limited state funds, improve public safety and completely eliminate the risk of executing an innocent man or woman.”
A serious debate should have been undertaken before being placed on the ballot as to whether LWOP is more humane than the death penalty. Many inmates are opposed to LWOP and the removal of their opportunities to pursue habeas relief to address their claims of innocence. http://davisvanguard.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5582:progressives-debate-prop-34-show-their-divisions&Itemid=100
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