This is a breakdown of each CA Proposition as researched by Debra Dowdy. She has taken the time to research the facts as given by the Ballot Initiatives and information available on ballotpedia.org. At the end of the description, she and I give our vote for each Proposition. There is also a linkable list of Propositions at the bottom of the post. We hope this will help you learn more about these important initiatives. Please leave a comment with your thoughts and vote!
CA Prop. 62. Repealing the Death Penalty.
There are two initiatives having to do with the death penalty. If they both pass, they conflict with each other. If that happens, the one with the most “yes” votes wins.
A yes vote on this one would repeal the death penalty. The maximum penalty for murder will be life without the possibility of parole. It would be retroactive to persons already sentenced to death. It will also require persons sentenced to life without parole to work in prison (duh) and it would increase the portion of their wages that goes to restitution.
Background: In 1972 the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional. In 1978 Proposition 7 reinstated it. In 2012 voters rejected an attempt to ban the death penalty (Prop 34).
There have been 930 death penalties since 1978. We average about 20 per year. Of those 930, 15 have been executed, 103 died on their own, and 64 got their sentences reduced. 66 death sentences have been overturned due to new evidence. So, doing the math, I presume 748 are just sitting there working on appeals.
Since these trials happen in two stages, there is about $55 million per year in extra court costs. It costs more to imprison death row inmates. Whenever they leave their cells, they have to be escorted by two guards. They also have to have private cells. The estimated total cost is $150 million per year. It costs 18 times more to house a death row inmate than a life sentence inmate.
Supporters say the death penalty has failed. Each execution costs $384 million. Converting sentences to life would bring closure to families. We would save $150 million per year. And we would avoid executing the innocent.
Opposition says the death penalty hasn’t failed, it was sabotaged. They want to “mend it, not end it.” If we don’t execute them, it will cost over $100 million to house, feed, and provide medical care for aging death row inmates.
So if you are opposed to the death penalty, vote “yes” on this and “no” on 66.
If you like the death penalty but are unwilling to pay for it anymore, vote “yes” on this and “no” on 66.
If you want to keep the death penalty, vote “no” on this and “yes” on 66.
Debra Dowdy is voting –
Chris Dowdy is voting – No
Links to all other CA Proposition for the 2016 Ballot: