Jonathan Simon: People on death row, not just folks in an abstract all night dorm room discussion about whether death or LWOP is worst, but folks actually condemned to die, prefer to continue with their death sentence.
Chris Stampolis: Proposition 34 simply strips out the statutory references to a “death” option for convictions of first degree murder that carry a separate finding of special circumstances.
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.
Hans Bennett: Abu-Jamal has asked for supporters to not just call for his release from the hole, but to challenge the very practice of solitary confinement and what are called in Pennsylvania “Restricted Housing Units.”
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.
Richard C. Dieter: The public is deeply skeptical of the capital punishment process, shocked at its enormous costs, and quite ready to replace it with alternative sentences.
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.
Aqeela Sherrills: The great irony, of course, is that while the state props up a failed system that discriminates against African-Americans and Latinos and anyone who is poor, it fails to provide justice to victims.
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: 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.
Natasha Minsker: It’s time to stop playing the killing game. Let’s use the hundreds of millions of dollars we’ll save to protect some of those essential services now threatened with death. Let’s stop asking people like me to lie to those victim’s family members.
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.