By Michele Hanisee
Voters support reform of California’s death penalty. It has become ineffective because of waste, delays, and inefficiencies. Fixing it will save California taxpayers millions of dollars every year, assure due process protections for those sentenced to death and promote justice for murder victims and their families. Death row inmates have murdered over 1000 victims, including 226 children and 43 police officers; 294 victims were raped and/or tortured. It’s time California reformed our death penalty process so it works.
On October 20, 2015, the California Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act of 2016 was submitted for the November 2016 ballot.
This initiative will ensure justice for both victims and defendants by:
- Expanding the pool of available defense attorneys.
- Requiring that a defendant who is sentenced to death is appointed a lawyer at the time of sentence, rather than waiting for years just to get a lawyer.
- Allowing the Department of Corrections to house condemned inmates in less costly housing with fewer special privileges.
- Requiring that condemned inmates work and pay restitution to victims.
- Allowing CDCR to enact an execution protocol without having to reply to every question or suggestion by any citizen who sends them a letter.
- Giving the California Supreme Court oversight over the state agency that manages death penalty appeals.
California’s death row includes serial killers, cop killers, child killers, mass murderers, and hate crime killers. The death penalty system is broken, but it can and should be fixed.
You can learn more by going to www.deathpenaltyreform.com. On their website you will be able to sign up for updates, join the coalition.
Your contribution is critical to our efforts to reform the criminal justice system. Please contribute and support our efforts!
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To read my previous blog, Years of Deliberate Foot-dragging by California State Officials on Death Penalty Ends with Announcement of One Drug Protocol, click here.
Michele Hanisee is Vice President of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA). The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA)