22 Oct Proposition 62: Repeal of the Death Penalty (YES)
Explanation: Proposition 62 supports repealing the death penalty and making life without the possibility of parole the maximum punishment for murder.
BWW Analysis: The most important fact here is that overall there have been too many people who were innocent of crimes sentenced to death and executed. There are additional reasons why we should repeal the death penalty:
- The use of capital punishment does not deter crime.
- The justice system is flawed, and people of color and/or low-income individuals are traditionally unfairly punished.
- It’s just tacky. The United States is one of the last remaining western countries that still puts prisoners to death. With passing this proposition, at least California can catch up to the rest of the western world in this manner.
- Real costs savings. Taxpayers have spent more than $5 billion since 1978 to carry out 13 executions — a cost of $384 million per execution. There is a potential to save the state $150 million annually within a few years.
California has not executed a prisoner since 2006. There are 748 prisoners currently waiting to be executed on “death row.” Yet, DNA technology and new evidence have proven the innocence of more than 150 people on death row after they were sentenced to death. In California, 66 people had their murder convictions overturned because new evidence showed they were innocent.
We do have concerns with this proposition because it would require prisoners sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole to work and pay restitution to victims’ families. The portion of wages to be provided as restitution would be increased to 60 percent. That’s even more closer to slave labor than what prisoners currently experience in the low wages earned in prison employment.