Death by murder, death by state CLICK
HERE to read Rich Anderson's op-ed about the death
of his grandmother and subsquent death sentence of his
August 4, 2011
California's death penalty and public safety CLICK
HERE for Judy Kerr's latest op-ed on why the death
penalty is making us less safe as a community.
July 26, 2011
Daily News Editorial on SB 490 CLICK
HERE to read the Los Angeles Daily News Editorial:
Death decision -- It's time that voters of California
determine whether executions of inmates should continue
or be banned once and for all
July 21, 2011
Murder victim family member discusses the death
Lorrain Taylor on MSNBC discuss why she believes
California's death penalty only hurts the family members
of murder victims and taxpayers.
July 19, 2011
California’s Death Penalty Prevents True Community
HERE to read a new blog by Aqeela Sherrills on the
July 7, 2011
CCV Summer News out now! CLICK
HERE to read CCV's latest newsletter.
July 6, 2011
SB 490 scheduled for its first hearing tomorrow! Last week, Democratic Sen. Loni Hancock of Berkeley
introduced a bill seeking to abolish California's broken
death penalty. SB 490 would place an initiative to replace
California's death penalty with life without the possibility
of parole on the November 2012 ballot.
June 27, 2011
Bill seeks to abolish death penalty in California Democratic Sen. Loni Hancock, of Berkeley, on Monday
introduced a bill seeking a public vote on whether California
should abolish capital punishment and convert death
sentences to life in prison, citing a study that said
most condemned inmates die of suicide or old age despite
billions in taxpayer costs. CLICK
HERE to read the article in the San Jose Mercury
Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times call for
and to California's death penalty for the first time Both the Oakland Tribune and the Contra
Costa Times ran editorials calling for an end to
California's death penalty. This was the first editorial
for each newspaper. CLICK
HERE to read.
June 22, 2011
Opinion: Victims program needs major overhaul Formed in 1965, CalVCP is the oldest such crime
victims program in the nation. Although it serves more
than 50,000 crime victims per year, the program is littered
with flaws that need to be addressed. CLICK
HERE to read more in the La Jolla Light.
June 20, 2011
Death penalty costs California $184 million a year,
study says A senior judge and law professor examine rising
costs of the program. Without major reforms, they conclude,
capital punishment will continue to exist mostly in
theory while exacting an untenable cost. CLICK
HERE to read the artcle in the Los Angeles Times.
May 26, 2011
Homicide Rate In California Drops To 44-Year Low
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris released updated
figures Tuesday showing that the homicide rate in California
continued to fall during 2010, reaching the lowest level
since 1966. CLICK
HERE to read more.
April 29, 2011
Voters From Across Political Spectrum Support Converting
All Current Death Row Sentences to Save California $1
Billion Over Five Years A recent statewide survey of 800 high propensity
voters conducted by David Binder Research showed a strong
63% support for converting all current death row sentences
to life imprisonment without any possibility of parole
in order to save the state $1 billion dollars in five
years, where the money saved would be required to pay
for public education and law enforcement. CLICK
HERE to read more.
April 28, 2011
Governor Brown Cancels Death Row Construction--$350
Million Step Towards $1 billion Saved!
On Thursday, April 28, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown canceled
plans to build a new housing facility for condemned
inmates at San Quentin in order to save taxpayers hundreds
of millions of dollars. "It would be unconscionable
to earmark $356 million for a new and improved death
row while making severe cuts to education and programs
that serve the most vulnerable among us,” he said. CLICK
HERE to read the press release.
April 20, 2011
CT Victims Explain that the Death Penalty Only Causes
More Harm As legislators in Connecticut grapple with a bill
that would abolish the death penalty in the state, murder
victims' families are speaking loudly about their opposition
to Connecticut's capital punishment system. CLICK
HERE to read one woman's story on the Daily Kos.
April 15, 2011
Tell Gov. Brown to Cut the Death Penalty At a time of fiscal crisis, when there are more
needs than dollars, we're calling on Sacramento to cut
the death penalty. We would save $1 billion in five
years without releasing a single prisoner or jeopardizing
public safety—$1 billion that could be spent on
education and vital social services for Californians.
We know that advocates and community members from across
the state are fighting to ensure that the vital social
services that make the safety net for California's most
vulnerable populations aren't slashed. We're here with
a small piece of the solution. Need
to cut something? Tell Governor Brown to cut this: the
April 4, 2011
The Cost Argument: A Murder Victim Family Perspective CLICK
HERE to read another fantastic op-ed by Judy Kerr
in the California Progress Report.
Illinois Proves (Again) That Ending the Death Penalty
Death Penalty Field Organizer James Clark reflects on
the money Illinois has saved in the month since it abolished
the death penalty. CLICK
HERE to read the blog in The Huffington Post.
March 28, 2011
Amnesty International Reports Worldwide Decline
in Death Penalty Use
The United States finds itself among the company of
China, Iran, North Korea, and Yemen, as the countries
that carry out the most death sentences. CLICK
HERE to read the article in the Christian Science
CLICK HERE to read the report from Amnesty International.
March 25, 2011
Second thoughts of a "Hanging Judge"
Retired Superior Court Judge Donald McCartin explains
why "it's time to stop playing the killing game."
HERE to read his op-ed in the LA Times
Former LA County District Attorney Agreesand
Gil Garcetti advocates a fairer system. CLICK
HERE to read his response to McCartin in the LA
March 17, 2011
Panel says Calif AG should promote rehabilitation In a recent report, a panel of law enforcement and
reform experts say that California Attorney General
Kamala Harris should take on an expanded role by attacking
the roots of crime while trying to keep parolees from
returning to prison. CLICK
HERE to read more in the San Francisco Chronicle
March 16, 2011
End death penalty; Don't cut victims' fund
Judy Kerr responds to recent cuts to California's victims'
HERE to read her op-ed in the Press-Enterprise
March 15, 2011
Victims' Voices From Around the Country
Helen Burns, daughter of a murder victim, applauds Illinois'
decision to abolish the death penalty. CLICK
HERE to read the article in The Statesman
According to Cathy Crino from TX, victims' services
would have been helpful after sister's death, not the
death penalty. CLICK
HERE to read the article in the Chicago Tribune
March 11, 2011
An Open Letter to Governor Jerry Brown: Smart on
Crime Solutions to the Budget Aqeela Sherrills has spent much of his life working
against violence in Los Angeles' African American Communities.
In a new op-ed, Aqeela shares with Gov. Brown smart
on crime solutions to the budget. CLICK
HERE to read the op-ed in The Sentinel.
March 10, 2011
A Range of Opinions Some victims oppose the death penalty, some support
it, and some are undecided. But ALL victims deserve
to have their voices heard. CLICK
HERE to read various victims' responses to repeal
of the death penalty in Illinois.
"What is it for? What does it bring to us?" Los Angeles DA Steve Cooley continues to seek the
death penalty despite victim's protests. Why is LA County
prioritizing executions over victims' families? CLICK
HERE to read more on Change.org.
March 9, 2011
VICTORY IN ILLINOIS! Today, Illinois
Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill to repeal the death
penalty in his state and converted the sentences
of everyone on death row to life without possibility
of parole. Funds from the state's Capital Litigation
Trust Fund will be reallocated to provide law enforcement
training and services to families of homicide victims.
This makes Illinois the 4th state in the country to
repeal the death penalty since 2005, following New York,
New Jersey, and New Mexico.
February 23, 2011
Senate Judiciary Commitee Hearing Footage CLICK
HERE to watch footage from the Senate Judiciary
Committee hearing on Washington State's SB 5456 to abolish
the death penalty.
February 18, 2011
California's Victims Fund Nearly Empty For the second time in a decade, the victims restitution
fund faces a financial meltdown that jeopardizes future
help for crime victims and their families. CLICK
HERE to read more about the victims fund shortfall
in the Press-Enterprise.
While the state runs out of money to compensate victims,
hundreds of millions of dollars are continually wasted
on the death penalty. CLICK
HERE to read a great blog highlighting the state's
tragically misguided priorities.
February 10, 2011
Laura's Law: Ten Years Later CCV supporters Nick and Amanda Wilcox introduced
Laura's Law in honor of their daughter who was killed
ten years ago today. CLICK
HERE to read more.
MT Senate Judiciary Comm. voted to PASS S.B. 185
- which would end MT's death penalty - by a vote of
HERE to take action now
Murder Victim Family Members Speak Out Against Connecticut's
Opponents of the death penalty in Connecticut, including
many murder victim family members, are urging for repeal. CLICK
HERE and HERE
to read more.
February 3, 2011
New Study by the Violence Policy Center Compares
Rates of Homicide Victimization for Californians Ages
10 to 24 The study, available at http://www.vpc.org/studies/cayouth.pdf
and funded by The California Wellness Foundation, uses
the most recent data available to rank California counties
by their homicide rates for youth and young adults ages
10 to 24. The study finds overwhelmingly that firearms,
usually handguns, are the weapon of choice. The study
also shows that there are vast disparities between groups:
in California, young African-Americans are more than
14 times more likely to be murdered than young whites.
Josh Sugarmann, VPC executive director and study co-author
states, “Comparing county by county the homicide
rates for youth and young adults in California shows
the continuing, urgent need for tailored, localized
approaches to reducing youth homicide that integrate
prevention and intervention while engaging local leaders
and community stakeholders.” CLICK
HERE for more info.
January 31, 2011
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Association of Santa
Clara Valley Scholarship Information
Every year, the Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr., Association of Santa Clara Valley
gives out thousands of dollars in scholarships to low
income minority students to attend college. While grades
are important, the main focus is civic and community
involvement. They are giving out a total of $6,100.00
in scholarship money. It will be distributed as follows,
$3,000.00 in scholarships for African American students,
$1,000.00 for any student going into Law Enforcement/Criminal
Justice, a $100.00 scholarship to a student with a disability,
as well as $2,000.00 for any student who applies and
is chosen. CLICK
HERE for more information and to fill out an application.
January 24, 2011
Death Penalty Examined Should we have the death penalty in this country?
Does it cost less, make us safer, is it humane, does
it deter crime? CLICK
HERE to listen to a podcast featuring Mike Farrell,
actor, activist and president of Death Penalty Focus;
Ron McAndrew, former prison warden at Stark State Prison
in FL where executions are performed; Judy Kerr whose
brother was a murder victim.
January 18, 2011
Woman endures as trial drags on for family's killer
Three members of a Whittier woman's family were murdered
by her daughter-in-law in 2007. Now the grieving matriarch
faces the trial's penalty phase --- again --- despite
her requests for life without parole. CLICK
HERE to read the article in the Los Angeles Times
January 11, 2011
Opinion: Police officials argue death penalty doesn't
make us safer CLICK
HERE to read the op-ed in the San Jose Mercury
January 7, 2011
"I dread doing it again" Prosecutors decide to seek a death sentence despite
the victims' families request to accept a plea bargain.
Victims' family says the death penalty "serves
no purpose." CLICK
HERE to read the article in the Whittier Daily
January 6, 2011
Illinois House votes to abolish death penalty 60-54. Now on to the Senate!
Viewpoints: Execution Ripped Open Old Wounds Linda Owens, a murder victims family member in the
Stanley "Tookie" Williams case, reflects on
the death penalty five years after Tookie's execution.
HERE to read the op-ed in The Sacramento Bee.
Voting on the Death Penalty? CLICK
HERE to read a great article in The Nation
featuring great quotes from Judy Kerr about cold cases
(Correction: Article states that there are 7,000 cold
cases in California. There are actually 25,000 cold
cases in California, with about 1,000 new cold cases
October 18, 2010
No Human Way to Kill If you missed the panel discussion "No Human
Way to Kill" when it streamed live from New York
City's White Box Gallery on October 11, you can watch
the video HERE.
This panel discussion featured Renny Cushing, whose
father was murdered in 1988, Reverend Cathy Harrington,
whose daughter, Leslie Ann Mazzara, was murdered, Barbara
Lewis, whose son, Robert Gattis, is on death row, Anne
Coleman, whose daughter, Frances, was murdered. The
panel was moderated by Robert Priseman, a visual artist
and Fellow at the Essex Human Rights Centre.
October 5, 2010
California's death penalty plods onward toward further
HERE to read this great article (with great quotes
from Judy Kerr) about how the death penalty prolongs
October 4, 2010
Murder victim survivors split on death penalty Not all victims agree on the death penalty. Revenge
and forgiveness are just two motivating factors for
support or opposition to the death penalty. Kevin Fagan
of the San Francisco Chronicle investigates these
varying perspectives. CLICK
HERE to read the article.
September 30, 2010
Execution Called Off
The Attorney General has officially conceded that the
execution scheduled to occur at 9:00 pm on September
30 will not go forward.This is just another example
of why California’s dysfunctional death penalty system
should be replaced with life without possibility of
parole with work and restitution to the victims. Life
without possibility of parole is swift and certain punishment.
By replacing the death penalty with life without possibility
of parole we would save the families of murder victims
from this painful, legal rollercoaster ride. And the
state will save $1 billion in five years and avoid legal
chaos like this. CLICK
HERE to read the full press release.
September 29, 2010
An Emotional Roller Coaster for Victims "A stay was issued Tuesday to halt the state
of California's scheduled execution of Albert Brown
at 9 p.m. on Thursday. As the legal issues may not be
resolved until the last minute, the victim's family
silently waits, not knowing what lies ahead. That's
the thing about the death penalty: although it's touted
by proponents as being "for the victims," the victims
are barely an afterthought." CLICK
HERE to read this great op-ed by Judy Kerr in the
San Francisco Chronicle.
September 15, 2010
Professor Jan Knippers Black Discusses Human Rights
on Evening Insight
Jan Kinppers Black, professor at Monterey Institute
of International Studies and murder victim family member,
discusses human rights issues, including the death penalty,
on Evening Insight. CLICK
HERE to watch the show.
August 27, 2010
Death penalty is not worth the cost The Sacramento Bee published a new op-ed
by Helene Burns and Judy Kerr, both registered nurses
and murder victim family members. CLICK
HERE to read it.
August 24, 2010
Without death penalty, we'd have funds to treat
mental illness The San Jose Mercury News published a new
op-ed by CCV member Deldelp Medina. CLICK
HERE to read it.
August 19, 2010
Media Recap Governor Schwarzenegger's announcement
to borrow $64 million to expand California's death row
has sparked outrage among
California's citizens about the cost of the death penalty
and its many failures. Here's a recap of the media coverage:
Death Penalty in the News The death penalty was a hot topic in the media this
weeked as the state reacted to Governor Schwarzenegger's
irresponsible plan to borrow $64 million from
California's general fund to expand death row. Please
check out these news items, write letters to the editor,
and comment on the stories!
Governor Schwarzenegger Plans to Borrow Nearly $65
Million from California's General Fund to Expand Death
Despite California's $19 billion budget deficit, Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration said Wednesday
it will borrow nearly $65 million from the state's cash-strapped
general fund to begin building a new 1,152-bed death
row at San Quentin State Prison. CLICK
HERE to read more in the Sacramento Bee.
The Governor's proposal came under immediate attack
by Assemblyman Jared Huffman and state Sen. Mark Leno,
both of whom have repeatedly opposed the governor's
efforts to expand the facility. CLICK
HERE to read the Contra Costa Times article
about their efforts to stop the expansion.
August 4, 2010
Victims' Family Satisfied with Life Without Parole The court proceedings against Columbus Allen Jr.
II dragged on for more than four years and then came
to an abrupt and somewhat surprising conclusion Monday
morning with his guilty plea to the 2006 murder of California
Highway Patrolman Earl Scott.
It is, we think, the best outcome for this horrific
crime. Allen, 34, will spend the rest of his life in
prison with no chance of parole.
Bill Scott, Earl's father, told The Bee that he was
satisfied with the resolution, in part because it assures
that the family will see Allen punished for his crime.
Public Opinion is Shifting "The majority of Californians now favor permanent
imprisonment over the death penalty. That includes murder
victims' family members like me," said Judy Kerr. CLICK
HERE to read CCV's latest blog entry on the Death
Penalty Focus blog.
July 22, 2010
Field Poll Shows That More Voters Prefer Permanent
Imprisonment Over the Death Penalty According to the Field Poll released today, 70%
of registered voters said they supported the death penalty.
However, when asked which sentence they preferred for
a first-degree murderer, 42 percent said life in prison
without parole and 41 percent said death.
Summer Newsletter Out Now! CLICK
HERE to read all about CCV's latest activities.
June 17, 2010
Urgent Action Needed to Stop Executions in CA! On June 8, California's oversight agency rejected
the proposed lethal injection regulations, citing many
of the objections raised by members of the public in
the comment process. Less than three days later, the
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(CDCR) proposed minor changes to the procedures and
opened another fifteen-day comment period. These minor
changes—made practically overnight—create even more
civil rights and civil liberties problems, not less.
Please join us in saying no to executions! CLICK
HERE to take action! The deadline for taking action
is Friday June, 25th at 5pm PST.
Debate: Death Penalty Only Hurts Victims' Families Beth Wood, Acting Executive Director of MVFR,
wrote a wonderful article chronicling the real needs
of victims and how the death penalty wastes public safety
HERE to read the article.
State rejects lethal injection overhaul California's death penalty has been on hold since
2006 due to legal challenges alleging that its 3-drug
lethal injection protocol is cruel and unusual punishment.
In April, the Department of Corrections proposed a new
set of regulations that have now been rejected by the
Office of Administrative Law, meaning a more lengthy
process before the state can resume executions.
Victims to Speak at WCADP General Assembly On June 12, more than eighty death penalty abolition
organizations from around the world will be gathering
for the 2010 Annual General Assembly of the WCADP in
Be sure to check out "Voices of Victims' Families,"
a panel discusion featuring:
- Renny Cushing, MVFHR
- Kate Lowenstein, MVFHR
- Howard Morton, Families of Homicide Victims and Missing
- Judy Kerr, CCV
Democrats want to scrap the death penalty The California Democratic part included a declaration
in its platform that theywill "replace the death penalty
with a term of permanent incarceration, which will serve
to protect the public, provide swift and certain
justice for victims' families, and save the state
an estimated $1 billion over the next five years." CLICK
HERE to read about it in the San Francisco Chronicle.
May 13, 2010
Justice for All Murder Victims
Murder victim family members and President of the Equal
Justice Society, Eva Paterson, talks about the Racial
Justice Act. CLICK
HERE to read about it on the California Progress
April 23, 2010
Solving murders is the best deterrent to crime CLICK
HERE to read a new op-ed by Judy Kerr in the Capitol
April 20, 2010
Victim's family gives consent to plea deal for permanent
San Diego victim Chelsea King’s parents came to support
life without parole for their daughter’s murderer instead
of pushing for the death penalty
Murder Victim Family Members Ask Governor to Make
Tough on Crime Choice to End Death Penalty CCV delivers clearly worded plea signed by 150 CCV
supporters to Governor Schwarzenegger: save the state
$1 billion dollars over the next five years by converting
all 700 death sentences in the state to permanent imprisonment
and redirect the money towards victim’s services. CLICK
HERE to read more on the California Progress
April 12, 2010
Investigations sit idle as LAPD detectives hit overtime
caps With its overtime budget decimated, the department
is forcing officers to put cases on hold and take days
or even weeks off. Despite an uptick in killings, the
homicide unit is among the hardest hit. CLICK
HERE to read the article in the Los Angeles Times
April 8, 2010
CCV release new report: "The Silent Crisis
in California: Unsolved Murders" While hundreds of millions of dollars are spent
each year on the death penalty, a shocking number of
homicides remain unsolved in California. This report
by California Crime Victims for Alternatives to the
Death Penalty (CCV) focuses on unsolved homicides in
California, a problem that has been largely ignored
until now by policy makers and the media. By shifting
limited public safety resources away toward solving
every murder we can achieve justice for all crime victims,
not just symbolism for a few.
Editorial: A death penalty record
L.A. County led the U.S. in capital sentences in 2009.
Prosecutors are being overzealous and inhumane. CLICK
HERE to read the editorial in the Los Angeles
March 30, 2010
Time For California to Catch Up With the Death Penalty
As the United States moves away from death sentences
to permanent imprisonment, California—particularly Los
Angeles County—lags behind, according to a new report
on the death penalty by the ACLU of Northern California
(ACLU-NC). To read about the report click HERE
To read the full report, click HERE.
March 24, 2010
A Tale of Two Murders: A Victim's Perspective on
the Death Penalty CLICK
HERE to read Judy Kerr's blog on Care2.
March 23, 2010
Hayward mother of slain sons channels her pain to
help others CLICK
HERE to read about CCV member Lorrain Taylor in
the "Hometown Heroes" section of the Contra
March 17, 2010
Revenge Solves Nothing CLICK
HERE to read Judy Kerr's letter to the editor from
the San Bernardino Sun in response to Assemblyman
Curt Hagman's pro-death penalty op-ed.
Greg Wilhoit: An Unsung Hero CLICK
HERE to read a wonderful tribute to our dear friend
Greg Wilhoit by Mike Farrell on the Huffington Post.
March 15, 2010
Who'll Pay for Murder Trials? Sen. Jeff Denham, who helped Modesto and the county
recoup some costs in Peterson's 2004 blockbuster trial,
introduced legislation in Sacramento three weeks ago
allowing counties to seek state reimbursement for prosecuting
those accused of killing officers.
Respond to Pro-Death Penalty Op-ed in the San Bernardino
HERE to read the op-ed by Assemblyman Curt Hagman:
"Cooper's victims deserve justice now"
Be sure to make comments and send letters responding
to Hagman's assumption that all victims believe that
the death penalty will bring justice. Send letters to:
February 17, 2010
Op-ed written by Judy Kerr in the San Jose Mercury
Death penalty takes resources away from solving other
HERE to read the op-ed in the San Jose Mercury
Op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle
Prisons can't afford to cut rehabilitation funds. CLICK
HERE to read the op-ed.
February 8, 2010
9/11 Victim Family Member Opposes the Death Penalty "Families of 9/11 victims say forget politics;
justice needs to come soon in terror trial" CLICK
HERE to read more in the New York Daily News.
February 5, 2010
The death penalty -- it's unworkable
The American Law Institute, instrumental in structuring
the model statutes on which most death sentences are
based, has withdrawn its support of such laws. CLICK
HERE to read the op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.
January 29, 2010
Op-ed written by Aqeela Sherrills in the Los
Angeles Daily News One father's message to another: stop wasting money
on CA's death penalty and spend it on preventing violence
and solving murders instead. CLICK
HERE to read the op-ed.
January 22, 2010
Over 12,000 Object to California’s Execution Plan
Wide range of groups and individuals say lethal injection
proposal continues to be flawed. CLICK
HERE to read the full story.
January 19, 2010
The Sacramento Bee Runs a Series of Letters
on the Death Penalty CLICK
HERE to read them!
January 12, 2010
Great editorial in the Long Beach Press Telegram CLICK
HERE to read the editorial "Death penalty needs
reforms: Life in prison without the possibility of parole
is a better alternative."
January 11, 2010
Victim's Family: "Everytime we think we can
move on, something comes up." CLICK
HERE to read this article in the Los Angeles
Times: "Accused California serial killer to
defend self in 30-year-old death penalty case"
Demand an End to Executions in California!
ACTION today to stop executions from resuming in
California. This is very urgent, without your help executions
could occur in the near future. Letters must be received
by January 20, 2010 at 5pm PDT.
Both Californians and non-Californians are encouraged
to take action.
BACKGROUND: On January 4, 2010, the California Department
of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) proposed minor
revisions to its lethal injection procedures in the
form of amendments to its previously proposed procedures.
CDCR set a fifteen-day comment period ending January
20, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. during which the public can submit
written comments on the proposed amendments.
CDCR Releases Proposed Modifications for Lethal
Injection Protocol Today, the California Department of Corrections
and Rehabilitation proposed changes to the lethal injection
procedure in a 25-page draft and announced a 15-day
period for public comment. Once any additional revisions
are made and the new protocols adopted, the execution
procedures must pass judicial review for their conformance
with state law and the U.S. Constitution.
Corrections officials last year published the proposed
changes and sought public comment, drawing more than
8,000 e-mails, letters and statements. Tuesday's proposed
revisions incorporated some of the public's concerns,
including clearly delineated areas for execution witnesses
and access to the condemned prisoner's holding cell
for chaplains and spiritual advisors.