By Eric Siddall
Each and every one of the 746 people on California’s death row are prime examples of the importance of preserving the death penalty for the state’s most brutal killers.
Serial killer Lonnie David Franklin, Jr., is as deserving as any.
Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy sentenced Franklin, better known as the “Grim Sleeper” killer, to death last week after a jury convicted him of murdering nine women and a teenage girl between 1985 and 2007. After shooting or strangling them, he often discarded their naked bodies, like trash, next to roads or in dumpsters. Detectives believe he could be responsible for killing 25 or more women.
While Kennedy rightfully sentenced Franklin to death, his true fate will be decided at the ballot box this November.
Two competing ballot initiatives have the potential to affect every person on death row, as well as criminals who commit the most unspeakable crimes in the future.
Proposition 62 would scrap the death penalty, allowing Franklin and other death row inmates who have killed cops and raped and murdered children to live out their lives behind bars. Proposition 66, by contrast, would preserve the death penalty for the most heinous criminals by enacting critically needed reforms to the system.
All of us have a responsibility to educate the public about the importance of passing Prop. 66 and defeating Prop. 62. When you go out and talk to your friends, relatives and even casual acquaintances, drive home the importance of this vote by making the consequences real. Citing the Grim Sleeper as an example of someone who would reap the benefits of the wrong outcome in November would be a great start.
You can sign up for campaign email updates, and volunteer for and donate to the campaign, by visiting the Californians for Death Penalty Reform and Savings website and clicking on the links on the right side of the home page.
To read previous blogs regarding the death penalty, please see (1)Death penalty reform initiative passes key hurdle, but our work has just begun (2) Inexcusable execution delay underscores need for death penalty reform (3) Help save the death penalty in California (4) Failure is not an option: Support for death penalty reform is critical (5) Join Public Safety Leaders & Victims to Fix the Death Penalty (6) Join Public Safety Leaders & Victims to Fix the Death Penalty (7) Death Penalty Reforms Needed in California (8) California Only Needs An Execution Protocol To Carry Out The Death Penalty)