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News

January 1, 2013

America’s Retreat from the Death Penalty – New York Times – full story here
When the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, it said there were two social purposes for imposing capital punishment for the most egregious crimes: deterrence and retribution. In recent months, these justifications for a cruel and uncivilized punishment have been seriously undermined by a growing group of judges, prosecutors, scholars and others involved in criminal justice, conservatives and liberals alike.

November 12, 2012

The Slow Demise of the Death Penalty – Huffington Post Blog by Richard Dieter – full story here
The death penalty in California survived by a narrow vote on November 6, but around the country the signs are clear that capital punishment is slowly on the way out. Even in California, the close defeat of the referendum to repeal the death penalty marks a significant milestone: in a state where almost three-quarters of the people supported the death penalty 30 years ago, now almost half the voters want it replaced.

November 6, 2012

End the Death Penalty in California – New York Times – full story here
A ballot initiative in California, Proposition 34, gives voters the chance to abolish capital punishment in the state. Initiatives are generally a bad way to make law, but a vote by the people is the only way to overturn the death penalty in California because that was how it was adopted in 1978. Statewide polls about the measure have moved favorably toward repeal of the penalty in the past few months, but it is one of the important choices on Tuesday that remains too close to call. We encourage every California voter to support the initiative.

November 1, 2012

Why Vote? Because You Can Shift Power in the United States – Color Lines/The Nationfull story here
Deldelp Medina, Northern California coordinator for California Crime Victims for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, is not in favor of getting rid of the death penalty just because of wrongful convictions like that of Franky Carrillo. Wrongly convicted of murder at age 16 and served twenty years before having his case reversed, Carrillo’s story is featured prominently in pro Prop 34 ads.* Medina isn’t just concerned over the $4 billion spent on the death penalty since 1978 and the approximately $1 billion that will additionally be spent in the next five years if the death penalty remains law in the cash-strapped state. She, like many family members of crime victims who are against repealing the death penalty, wants justice for her community.

October 9, 2012

Amanda Wilcox: Why I am supporting Proposition 34 – YubaNet – full story here
In January 2001, my only daughter, Laura, was murdered by a person with severe mental illness. Laura was shot four times at point blank range at the Nevada County Behavioral Health Clinic. When the rampage at the clinic and a nearby restaurant ended, three people lay dead, three were severely injured, a community was shaken, and the world was diminished by the loss of an incredible young woman. Laura, bright and beautiful at age nineteen, had extraordinary capability, kindness, and spirit. She was an outstanding student and leader. She wanted to make a positive difference in the world. Laura had unlimited possibilities and the brightest of prospects.

September 9, 2012

Editorial: Time to end the fiction of California’s death penalty – Sacramento Bee – full story here
For most of its 162 years as a state, California has had laws on the books authorizing the death penalty. And for nearly all of its 155 years as a newspaper, The Bee has lent its support to those laws and use of capital punishment to deter violence and punish those convicted of the most horrible of crimes. That changes today. The death penalty in California has become an illusion, and we need to end the fiction the sooner the better. The state’s death penalty is an outdated, flawed and expensive system of punishment that needs to be replaced with a rock-solid sentence of life imprisonment with no chance of parole.

August 17, 2012

Proposition 34 would end the death penalty in California if approved in November – San Francisco Examiner – full story here
Lorrain Taylor was sitting in her home in February 2000 when she received a devastating phone call that would change her life. Her 22-year-old twin sons, Obadiah and Albade, had been shot and killed while trying to fix their car in an Oakland parking lot. Although one suspect was briefly brought into custody, no one was ever charged with the double homicide. To this day, Taylor believes police did not conduct a thorough investigation of her sons’ slayings. But while she still hopes to track down the killer and put that person behind bars, she says she wouldn’t push for the death penalty.

May 21, 2012

‘Yes on the SAFE California Act– Los Angeles Timesfull story here
The Los Angeles Times endorsed the SAFE California Act to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole, saying, “It would replace the death penalty with a sentence of life without parole, and solve a host of problems bedeviling the state law enforcement system.”

April 25, 2012

Epic Win: SAFE California Act to Replace the Death Penalty Will Be on the November full story here
It’s official. The SAFE California Act, the initiative to replace the death penalty with life in prison with no possibility of parole, has qualified for the November ballot.

April 6, 2012

Seeking an End to the an Execution Law They Once Championed New York Times, full story here
Thirty-four years after helping pass California’s death penalty law, another initiative is going on the California ballot, this time to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole.

March 1, 2012

End death penalty measure likely to be on November ballot full story here
The SAFE California Campaign to replace the death penalty submitted nearly 800,000 signatures in order to qualify for the November 2012 ballot

February 23, 2012

Get text message updates about the SAFE California campaign Read more here

February 14, 2012

Ron Briggs, son of former state Sen. John Briggs, tells why he support the SAFE CA. Listen to radio podcast here

January 9, 2012

Life and Death Decisions – LA Times
A mother’s opinion on California’s death penalty

October 26, 2011

Replacing California Death Penalty Gains Political Steam
Signature Drive first salvo in long battle ahead for group. Read the article here.

October 23, 2011

Death Penalty’s Unlikely Opponents – CNN
People who’ve lost loved ones to violence are unlikely opponents of capital punishment. Read the article here.

September 21, 2011

Victim’s son objects as Texas sets execution in hate crime death
As Texas prepares to execute one of his father’s killers, Ross Byrd hopes the state shows the man the mercy his father, James Byrd Jr., never got when he was dragged behind a truck to his death. Read the article here.

September 4, 2011

Death Penalty – costly for families of victims too
CLICK HERE for an op-ed in the Seattle Times

Monday, August 29, 2011

Death by murder, death by state
SAFE CA campaign launched – Coalition group will bring death penalty issue to the ballot box. Families of murder victims and law enforcement officials speak out about why the death penalty is bad for them and bad for California.