New Bill Would Abolish California's Death Penalty

June 27, 2011

According to a recent study, if California were to rid itself of the death penalty and everyone on death row received the next highest penalty on the books (life without parole) it would save tax payers $184 million per year.

Execution witness viewing room (c) Scott Langley

No state, certainly not California, can afford to waste public money like this. This is a state that has cut valuable social services and funds for education in the face of serious budget shortfalls.

The death penalty is a public policy failure that does not represent the best of our values as a society that says it is committed to human rights. It is a distraction from real solutions that could prevent violent crime and bring valuable services to murder victims’ families.

What could the state do with $184 million per year to improve the lives of Californians?

“[M]ore police officers on the street, more job training, more education, more of the things that would truly make for safer communities.”  These are the things cited by state Senator Loni Hancock as she filed a bill to abolish California’s death penalty.

Raise your voice now and let lawmakers know that you’re ready to end the death penalty distraction and talk about real ways to respect the human rights of murder victims, prisoners and every Californian who has the right to be safe.