Californians vote to speed up death penalty, reject life

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Boothill Graveyard Tombstone, Arizona

California is sometimes a liberal state. In the population dense areas, like the Bay Area and Los Angeles, it seems like a deep blue state, while in the Central Valley and other more rural areas of the state, it seems to be more red. Interestingly, in this year’s election, California voters decided to pass Proposition 66 which essentially speeds up the death penalty appeals process.

I’m personally offended because it doesn’t make sense to punish crime with murder. It is not moral to kill, period.

Prop. 62 failed. It would have repealed the death penalty. This came as a surprise to many political observers. The liberal state of California voted yes for the legalization of marijuana and for putting a ban on plastic bags, but the death penalty was not only affirmed, but Prop. 66 hopes to accelerate the process.

I was disappointed in the results. We might as well be in Texas.

Prop. 66 is designed to change the procedures governing state court appeals and petitions that challenge death penalty convictions and sentences with the goal of reducing the time from conviction to execution.

It costs taxpayers $90,000 more per year to maintain a death row prisoner rather than a prisoner in general population. Prop. 66 hope to reduce that cost because the inmates on death row will be there for a shorter amount of time.

Prop. 66 is interesting because it all happens quite close to us. The males on death row in California are executed at the San Quentin State Prison in San Rafael.

I could rant about how the death penalty should not exist, but since it has b

een decided that it shall stand, there’s no need to talk about it now. Prop. 66 in theory is to make the death penalty more effective and efficient, however, I don’t believe it will.

Already there has been rebuttal against the Prop, claiming it is “unconstitutional.” According to the website Ballotopedia on Nov. 9, 2016 John Van de Kamp, former California attorney general, and Ron Briggs, a former El Dorado supervisor, challenged the proposition in court.

“Prop. 66 violates the constitution by keeping the [state] Supreme Court and the appeals court out of the system.” Briggs said.

We cannot say with any certainty that California will not execute an innocent person”

— Ana Zamora

Opponents fear a shortened process may interfere with adequate legal representation. In fact it might even slow things down or cause more innocent people to find themselves on a table with a needle in their arm.

The intact death penalty with its intentions to speed up the appeal process may backfire. According to CBS Sacramento manager of the Prop. 66 campaign Ana Zamora said, “We cannot say with any certainty that California will not execute an innocent person.  That uncertainty is unjust.

Franklin Zimring, professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said, “The irony is that Prop. 66 was supposed to simplify and speed things up… it has made things more complex, increased the set of issues to be litigated and, if anything, could slow down the path to execution in California from its glacial pace previously.”

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