A roundup of how California propositions were doing as of midnight in Tuesday's election: Read More
Support is growing to end California's death penalty, but backers of an initiative on Tuesday's ballot still lack the majority needed to pass it, according to a Field Poll released Friday.The survey found that 45 percent of likely voters support Proposition 34, which would end executions in favor of life imprisonment without parole, even for murderers already on death row. Thirty-eight percent oppose the measure, while nearly 1 in 5 voters remains undecided. Read More
I am writing to encourage voters to vote for Proposition 34, which will remove the death penalty from the state Constitution and substitute a penalty of life without the possibility of parole, for several reasons.
First, eliminating the death penalty will make it impossible to make a mistake and execute an innocent person, a grisly prospect that a humane society cannot allow to happen. Read More
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that life sentences for criminals who commit their crimes when they are younger than 18 years old is cruel and unusual punishment. But at the time of that ruling, a legal loophole allowed the California sentencing guidelines to stand and some juveniles were locked behind bars — sentenced to live their lives there without any chance of rehabilitation. Read More
“The supporters of Proposition 34 sympathize with the murderers. The victims are somewhat down on their priority scale,” said Michael Rushford, president of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation (“Death row may face demise,” Sunday). Read More
A bill that would have allowed voters to abolish the death penalty in California was withdrawn by state Sen. Loni Hancock Thursday in Sacramento. Read More
Convicted murderer Clifford Bolden has been on death row for 20 years — more than one-third of his life — desperately seeking life without parole. Now new state legislation might grant that wish. Read More
In many cities, a politician’s opposition to the death penalty would be considered a political liability. But in San Francisco, supporting the death penalty can be hazardous to your political career — even if you’re The City’s top prosecutor. District Attorney George Gascón’s nuanced approach to the death penalty could cost him votes in November’s election, but he insisted Wednesday that he would hold firm to his stance. Read More
A former warden of San Quentin State Prison and former California Corrections Department director has become the new chief of an anti-death-penalty group.The selection of Jeanne Woodford, 56, of Benicia, as executive director was announced Thursday by Death Penalty Focus, a San Francisco-based national organization that opposes capital punishment. Read More
California pretends to have a death penalty for murder and other heinous crimes. That is, judges and juries sentence violent felons to die in San Quentin State Prison’s execution chamber.
But that is just a pretense because, in fact, almost no one is ever executed.
Instead, supposedly about 700 condemned inmates reside for years, even decades, on what’s called “death row.” They’re in greater danger of dying of old age — or boredom — than in taking the long walk. Read More