Commentary: Paper wrong recommendations on death penalty

San Jose Mercury News/ East Bay Times

By Peter A. Meredith, East Bay Times guest commentary
Peter A. Meredith is a retired police lieutenant with the Berkeley Police Department. He has been a resident of Contra Costa County since 1957.

“A murder, after all, involves an innocent victim; an execution doesn’t.”

–Burt Prelutsky, Conservatives are from Mars (Liberals are from San Francisco).

This may serve as a response to the East Bay Times (July 18) editorial asking voter approval of Proposition 62, abolishment of California’s death penalty, and to vote no on Proposition 66, a measure designed to eliminate delay and modernize appeal procedures that would hasten execution of vicious murderers.

The paper suggests, “Speed [in executions] is the hallmark of places like China ….”

Recall the 2008 rape-murder conviction of Daryl Kemp, the Contra Costa jury recommending the death penalty. Kemp’s victim was a 42-year-old Lafayette woman savagely killed in 1979.

Read more.

Yes on Prop. 66 – Death Penalty Reform – Fixing California’s Broken System

The Desert Independent

By MICHAEL HESTRIN, Riverside District Attorney

Historically, Californians have overwhelmingly supported the death penalty. Yet, during every election cycle a ballot measure comes up looking to repeal it. Well this year is no different. Governor Brown and a host of Hollywood elite are actively pushing Prop. 62, which would repeal the death penalty, granting criminals convicted of murder with special circumstances, a life sentence instead.
Opponents of the death penalty try to point out the possibility of persons being wrongly convicted of capital offenses, sentenced to death and then being executed. The fact is there is no documented case of this EVER taking place in California due to the expertise and painstaking quality of investigation and prosecutorial work that has gone into death penalty cases.
Instead of abolishing the death penalty altogether, a smarter move is to mend a broken system. Prop. 66 is the answer Californians are looking for. The goals behind Proposition 66 are laudable and more in line with the thinking of the California electorate that voted to reinstitute the death penalty to begin with mend it, don’t end it.

Read more.

No on Prop 62 Yes on 66 Statement in Response to The Carters Backing Repeal Measure

“With all due respect to President and Mrs. Carter, whose past efforts in 2012 via Prop. 34 failed to convince the voters of California to repeal the death penalty, it is time to give reform a chance.

The voters have repeatedly affirmed their support for the death penalty, and the backers of Prop. 62 have tried to undermine that. They worked to intentionally sabotage the death penalty, and then having broken the system, cite that as a reason for repeal. The voters didn’t buy it then and won’t this time.

Each year, nearly 2,000 murders occur in California with about 15 resulting in a death penalty sentence. The death penalty is reserved for the most heinous criminals like child killers, rape/torture murderers, serial killers and cop killers. As it stands, some of these killers sit on death row for 30 or more years, using appeal after appeal to delay justice all while costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Prop. 66 reforms will speed up the appeals process, ensuring their appeals are heard within 5 years and NO innocent person is executed. Prop. 66 keeps the death penalty in play while promoting justice for murder victims and their families.

The death penalty in California is broken. It’s time to MEND it, not END it. Vote NO on Prop 62 and YES on Prop 66.”

Jeff Flint
Campaign Manager
No on 62, Yes on 66

Press contact: Bill Bradley 916-213-5230  and Janet Soule 530-220-2522


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                CONTACT: Jeff Flint
June 30, 2016                                                            916-320-9574

“An Important and Powerful Day for Public Safety and Families of Victims”

The following statement can be attributed to Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, Co-Chair of the Californians for Death Penalty Reform and Savings Campaign

(Sacramento, CA) — “Today is an important day for public safety in California, and a powerful moment for the families of crime victims. With the qualification of the California Death Penalty Reform measure for the ballot this November, we will give Californians the chance to make their communities safer, to bring justice to the very worst of the worst criminals, and some closure and peace to the families of the victims of the most horrible of crimes.

“Along with passing our measure, we will work tirelessly to defeat the death penalty repeal measure. This measure was designed by the very people who have broken the system. Death row killers earned their sentences recommended by juries and imposed by judges across California. Justice demands that those sentences be carried out. These killers should not be rewarded by repealing the death penalty.”

“This election is shaping up to be the most significant in decades for law enforcement, victims, and all those who care about protecting public safety. We look forward to informing voters over the next four months about the importance of mending, not ending, our death penalty system.”


Brenda Van Dam op-ed: Yes to death penalty: State problems can be fixed

Californians may be faced with two competing death penalty initiatives in November. A measure to repeal the death penalty has already qualified for the ballot. A second initiative aims to preserve and reform the death penalty by speeding up executions. Below the San Diego mother of a girl whose killer is on death row makes the case for the second measure.

Thirteen years ago, on a February morning, my life changed forever. That was the morning that we went to look for our 7-year-old daughter, Danielle, in her bedroom but found her missing. She was nowhere in our home. She wasn’t anywhere in our neighborhood.

We began to search, family, friends and neighbors, to try to find Danielle. The police were called and the search became even bigger. Eventually, many thousands of volunteers joined the effort, spanning large parts of San Diego County, but still no trace of Danielle. Those long days turned into long weeks, enduring the agonizing and frustrating ordeal of waiting and not knowing.

Finally, on Feb. 27, Danielle was found. She had been a victim of murder, but in a very real way, so had everyone else who loved her. The void and pain of losing your child is devastating in a way that can’t even be adequately put into words. But she wasn’t truly “lost” … she was wrested away from us by the violent and deliberate actions of another human being. All we had was the possibility of seeking justice for Danielle by prosecuting, convicting and punishing the man who committed the crime, David Westerfield.

Read more.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos on KABC

A “Do or Die” California Ballot Initiative
TalkRadio 790 KABC 

Pro-death penalty advocates have a competing initiative on the November ballot to the “Kill the Death Penalty” measure that recently qualified. The Reform and Savings act would keep California’s death row open and expedite trips to the execution chamber.

A proposition to end the death penalty in California was defeated in 2012 and San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos told KABC, at the time, they promised voters to return with a measure that makes improvements to capital punishment.

“We gotta talk about the victims and their rights,” Ramos told the McIntyre in the Morning.

Listen here

LTE: Modify but keep California death penalty

The Fresno Bee

What is all the fuss about the death penalty in California? From my perspective, there has been a de facto moratorium on the death penalty for many years. What remains is the “threat” of the death penalty and even that is under attack.

Yet the death penalty threat serves as an important tool in the battle against the most egregious and horrific crimes imaginable.

Read more here

California Death Penalty Reform Proponents Submit Signatures to Qualify for November Ballot

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    Contact:     Rachel Smith
May 19, 2016                                                  949-241-9785    

California Death Penalty Reform Proponents Submit Signatures to Qualify for November Ballot

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 19, 2016 – The Californians for Death Penalty Reform and Savings campaign submitted 593,000 total signatures across the state’s 58 counties today to qualify the initiative for the November ballot.

California currently requires 365,880 valid signatures to qualify a statutory ballot measure.

Press conferences are being held today in ten major cities throughout the state with speeches from local District Attorneys, law enforcement officials, crime victim advocates, and community leaders.

The Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act seeks to reform California’s death penalty laws so they can be fairly and appropriately applied in the most heinous of crimes. The initiative will help keep Californians safe and ensure justice for murdered victims and their families. At the same time, the measure will save taxpayers millions of dollars per year while maintaining due process protections for those sentenced to death.

The initiative’s proponent, former NFL player Kermit Alexander, will speak this afternoon in Riverside today about his thirty year effort to seek justice for his mothers, sister and two nephews who were murdered in 1984.

“Justice is not easy, and it is certainly not gentle. But justice denied is not justice,” says Alexander.

“We the people of California have consecutively and systematically voted to reinstate and preserve the use of capital punishment despite the efforts of those who refuse to carry out an execution.”

Death row inmates have murdered over 1000 victims, including 226 children and 43 police officers; 294 victims were raped and/or tortured before being killed. California’s death row includes serial killers, cop killers, child killers, mass murderers, and hate crime killers.

The California Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act of 2016 was introduced on October 20, 2015 and will ensure justice for both victims and defendants by:

  • Expanding the pool of available defense attorneys so death penalty appeals can proceed quickly.
  • 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 while still maintaining strong security.
  • Requiring that condemned inmates work and pay restitution to victims.
  • Allowing the Department of Corrections 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.

Each County will transmit a raw count of signatures to the California Secretary of State and then proceed to verify either a full count of signatures in their county or a random sample.

More stories about victims and current death row inmates, please visit:

For more information on the press conferences and speakers, contact Rachel Smith.


San Bernardino County DA Mike Ramos in Today’s Flash Report

Check out this article featured today on the Flash Report written by San Bernardino County DA Mike Ramos. Ramos provides a great snapshot of what our initiative is about and the importance of qualifying for this November’s ballot.

Mend, Don’t End, California’s Death Penalty

Sacramento County DA Anne-Marie Schubert on the John McGinness Show- KFBK 1530AM- Thursday April 21st 3pm – 4pm

Sacramento County DA Anne-Marie Schubert will be on the John McGinness Show- KFBK 1530AM- TODAY Thursday April 21st from 3pm – 4pm. During this broadcast, our campaign will have multiple petition signing locations across the Greater Sacramento Area as we get closer to our signature turn in deadline to qualify our measure for the November ballot! Below is a complete list of spots you can stop and sign a petition at! Look for our volunteers with balloons and brightly colored clothing out front of these shopping centers and buildings.

Email us at or call us at 800-372-6417 if you would like to sign a petition or have questions about this afternoon’s effort.

In front of the UPS store next to Bel Air in the business center with Taco Bell on the corner of Sunset Blvd and Rocklin Rd.
2365 Sunset Blvd, Rocklin, CA 95765

Guysf For Lunch in Roseville
1249 Pleasant Grove Blvd, Roseville, CA 95678

Target on Riverside in Downtown Sacramento (Riverside and Broadway)
2505 Riverside Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95818

In front of Post Office on Arden Way
2801 Arden Way, Sacramento, CA 95825

In front of Post Office in Carmichael
6929 Fair Oaks Blvd, Carmichael, CA 95608

In a parking lot at Main and West in Woodland. It is a multi-business retail area that includes a Dutch Brothers in the parking lot.
1332 E Main St. Woodland, CA

West Sacramento  
Outside Nugget shopping center- on Jefferson Street side.
2000 Town Center Plaza, West Sacramento, CA 95691

At the Lincoln Shopping Center- outside the Traders Joe’s
6535 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95207

Yuba City  
Cupcake Magic
728 Plumas St. Yuba City (near Yuba County and Sutter County line)

El Dorado Hills
El Dorado Hills Town Center- out front of the main parking lot entrance.
4364 Town Center Blvd. El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

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