Replacing the Death Penalty

Tani Cantil-Sakauye

Andy Love: Being on the front lines, capital defense practitioners have experienced first hand the unfairness, arbitrariness and unreliability of California’s capital punishment scheme.

Dr. King’s Stance Against the Death Penalty

mlk-family-wide

David A. Love: Executions in the U.S. are part of a racially-coded system of retribution. Poor people and members of racial minorities are more likely to receive a death sentence, as are those who are charged with murdering a white victim.

Abuse and Assault

sexual abuse

Carl Matthes: Society has learned that the force which drives sexually-based assault and abuse is not easily categorized, understood or rooted out. What is understood is that this force is not driven by sexual need; men turn their physical and manipulative powers into a destructive force.

Evolution/Devolution

death penalty vigil

Andy Love: With recent polling that shows support for the death penalty has hit a 39-year low, and widespread discomfort over the execution of Troy Davis, a backlash is to be expected.

Final Hours

christine merulis

Christine Meuris: It is impossible to imagine what this is like, as impossible as finding the right words to say, when a man in this position, in his last hours, calls on the phone.

Death: And Law & Order

law and order jerry orbach

James Clark: California taxpayers spend $184 million each year to support a dysfunctional death penalty system that operates like an upscale life without parole: more death row inmates die of illness and old age than they do of execution.

SB 490: Let the Voters Make an Informed Death Penalty Decision

don heller

James Clark: No one is surprised to learn that California’s death penalty is a broken and dysfunctional system. After all, you don’t have to go far in California to find any government bureaucracy that’s broken or dysfunctional – it’s finding a functional government program that might take a while.

The Myth of California’s Death Penalty

Cut-This

James Clark: Out of more than 900 men and women sentenced to die in California only 13 have ever been executed. Victims’ family members are dragged through decades of appeals and hearings while they wait for an execution that rarely comes.

Lethal Injustice

death-penalty-wide

Diane Lefer: The death penalty means “the State can kill you as long as they give you a trial. The State doesn’t say your lawyer has to be awake.

Dear Terminator, Lay Off Our Executioners

David Holtzman

David Holtzman: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can help. In what very little time he has left in office, he can give his legacy a considerable boost by commuting the state’s hundreds of pending death sentences to life in prison without possibility of release. As a Los Angeles resident on the world’s stage, he should be sensitive to his image at home and abroad.

Victims’ Rights in California: On Paper, in Practice

Suzanne Neuhaus and Phillip Argento

Diane Lefer: The restorative justice model is able to keep the compassionate focus on those who have suffered most from violent crime–the victims, while still addressing the factors that drive crime and recidivism and without denying the humanity of the imprisoned.

First Solve Prison Crisis, Then Fix California’s Budget

Gary Gilmore

Dick Price: To get a handle on the damage California’s current approach to incarceration is having on its citizens, consider this: In a recent 23-year period, California erected 23 prisons—one a year, each costing roughly $100 million dollars annually to operate, with both Democratic and Republican governors occupying the statehouse—at the same time that it added just one campus to its vaunted university system, UC Merced.

Stop Wasting Money on Executions

ramona-ripston

Capital Punishment is Too Expensive California remains on track to spend over $1 billion on the death penalty in the next five years, in the midst of the worst financial crisis in nearly a century. Incredibly, even as state officials announce that they must fill a deficit of $21.3 billion this year, and contemplate drastic [...]

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