James Clark: Thousands of Californians are joining together to call on local district attorneys to stop seeking death sentences until voters get a chance to weigh in on this broken system.
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.
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.
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.
James Clark: Put another way, we spend $184 million more per year for death penalty inmates than we do on those sentenced to life without the chance of parole. All told, California is on track to spend $1 billion on the death penalty over the next five years.
James Clark: The dominoes are falling fast as more and more people in California are learning what a waste the death penalty has become.
James Clark: Jerry Brown said “it’s all on the table.” If that’s true, why is he prioritizing death row over real help—like counseling—for victims’ families?
James Clark: The state’s death penalty is an ineffective waste of tax dollars that we simply can’t afford, yet while the Governor and Assembly slash everything from preschool to geriatric care, the state remains poised to spend $1 billion on the death penalty over the next five years.
James Clark: A growing number of victims’ advocacy organizations are taking a stand against the death penalty because it prioritizes executions above the real needs of victims.