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Support the Vote Yes on Proposition 34 campaign’s efforts to abolish California’s broken death penalty

We are on the verge of a major victory—abolishing California’s broken death penalty—but need your help. Please sign up to contact undecided voters urge them to vote yes on Proposition 34.

For more information on why California’s Proposition 34 deserves your support, please visit the SAFE California’s About Prop. 34 page. (In short, much like Kentucky’s broken death penalty, California’s is costly and rarely carried out.)

The ACLU of Kentucky, one of our partners, is hosting a phonebank this Tuesday around 4 p.m. and going till 6 or 7 p.m.. They’ll be calling folks in California to talk to them about the abolition provision on the ballot. If you can help out, please contact ACLU program associate Kate Miller at

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is also looking for volunteers to join its National Action Team and phonebank on behalf of passing Proposition 34. Sign up here.

Photo: Courtesy SAFE California

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  1. Chris Bernstien says

    Most of what the proponents argue to support the proposition are simply false. The provisions in addition to banning the death penalty achieve nothing, but serve as bribes to get the conservative votes of those who haven’t investigated the proposition thoroughly.

    The 729 on death row murdered at least 1,279 people, including 230 children. 43 were police officers. 211 were raped, 319 were robbed, 66 were murdered in execution-style killings, and 47 were tortured. 11 murdered other inmates.

    No “savings” & Increased Violence. Alleged savings ignore increased life-time medical costs, which often double during the last 25 years of life and in some cases exceed $1 million a year. The alleged savings also requires housing these killers in less-restrictive prisons where they share cells. Proponents also want to provide them opportunities for work, where they have more freedom, access to other inmates and guards, and more chances to make weapons.

    Michael Genest, former State Of California Finance Director, reported:

    While I credit the LAO for a fair and impartial attempt to quantify the costs and savings that may result from the enactment of Proposition 34, the savings claims of the proponents of the measure are grossly exaggerated.

    The LAO’s official ballot pamphlet analysis pegs the net savings to state and local governments combined at $100 million annually, growing eventually to $130 million. While I think that the LAO made a good faith effort to guess at what the fiscal effects would be, their estimate is based on a few key assumptions about which they acknowledge there is substantial uncertainty and which may well be wrong.

    Moreover, the absence of the threat of a death penalty could substantially increase the total number of murder trials by taking away a major incentive for murderers to plead guilty. based on a study by a California organization, the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, is that elimination of the death penalty would reduce plea bargains and increase trials in murder cases by 11%. That would mean trials and appeals in over 140 additional murder cases a year, an added expense that could completely eliminate the savings from trying a much smaller number of cases as life-imprisonment rather than capital cases.

    No “accountability.” The proponents claim that inmates will have to work and pay their victims. The maximum earnings for any inmate would amount to $383/year (assuming 100% of earnings went to victims), divided by the number of qualifying victims. Hardly accounts for murdering a loved one.

    No “full enforcement” as 729 inmates do not receive the penalty given them by jurors. Also, for the 34,000 inmates serving life sentences, there will be NO increased penalty for killing a guard or another inmate. They’re already serving a life sentence. This should scare the hell out of any prison guard. Also, efforts are also being made to get rid of life sentences. (Human Rights Watch, Old Behind Bars, 2012.) On 9/30/12, Brown passed the first step, signing a bill to allow 309 inmates with life sentences for murder to be paroled after serving 25 years. Life without parole is meaningless. Remember Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan. While not released, they have been up for parole several times despite initially receiving a death sentence. Governors are also notorious for releasing inmates who should never be released. Convicted killers get out and kill again, such as Darryl Thomas Kemp, Kenneth Allen McDuff, and Bennie Demps.

    Arguments of innocence bogus. Proponents can’t identify one innocent person executed in CA. They can’t identify one person on CA’s death row who has exhausted his appeals and has a plausible claim of innocence. See and for more facts explaining why you should not be supporting Prop. 34.

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