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.
Anthony Samad: Los Angeles County’s best option is to overhaul the Probation Department. Put it in receivership like they did the Health Department and Children & Family Services.
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.
Andrea Nill-Sanchez: In Arizona, 30 of the 36 legislators who co-sponsored the state’s controversial immigration law that would undoubtedly put more immigrants behind bars received campaign contributions from private prison lobbyists or companies.
Sherwood Ross: If you want a glimpse into the soul of a nation, visit one of its prisons. California is no exception. It’s typical.
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?
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.
Sharon Kyle: Either large segments of the American population suddenly decided to engage in criminal activity or there were changes in sentencing law and prison policy that dramatically increased America’s prison population. Whatever the reason, states are spending more on prisons and less on higher education.
Anthony Portantino: Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) has introduced legislation that shifts the prison reform debate from an early release and sentencing reform emphasis to stopping the revolving door at California’s prisons.