Los Angeles – Californians for Death Penalty Reform and Savings were joined by Governors George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Gray Davis, and former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley to announce the launch of signature gathering for a statewide ballot initiative to fix the death penalty in California.
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 229 children and 43 police officers; 235 victims were raped and 90 victims were tortured. It’s time California reformed our death penalty process so it works.
This initiative will ensure justice for both victims and defendants by:
- 1. Reforming the Appeals Process
- 2. Reforming Death Row Housing and Victim Restitution
- 3. Reforming the Appointment of Appellate Counsel and Agency Oversight
More information on the initiative can be found at www.deathpenaltyreform.com
“In 2012, Californians overwhelmingly reaffirmed their support for the death penalty. Unfortunately, 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.”
“The voters of California have continuously confirmed their support for keeping the death penalty as an option for the most heinous of crimes. This measure will require death row inmates, for the first time, to work and provide restitution to victims of their crimes or risk losing privileges, like any other violent offender. This reform will significantly reduce the current 20 year review process by requiring that the appeal be heard first by the California Court of Appeals. This initiative will bring common sense reform to a broken system.”
Governor Gray Davis
37th Governor of California
“In 2012 death penalty opponents of the death penalty argued it should be ended to save taxpayers the enormous cost of its endless prolonged delays. California voters saw through and strongly rejected the cynical hypocrisy of the criminal defense lawyers whose obstructive tactics in fact create such delay. But this initiative truly will bring common sense reforms to a broken system.
”Moving the first round of appeals to the State Court of Appeals will assure timely review of convictions rather than the unconscionable 7-1/2 year delay the current system causes. This reform will rid the appellate process of completely needless delays while keeping judicial safeguards in place.”
Governor Pete Wilson
36th Governor of California
“We all agree that California’s the current death penalty process is not working. This initiative will implement common sense reforms to enforce the sentence that California voters, at the last election, told us they wanted to keep for the state’s worst murderers. It will also provide long-overdue justice for the families of hundreds of murder victims.”
Governor George Deukmejian
35th Governor of California
“Many good men and women who helped to solve my daughter Polly’s case have quietly passed since her murderer was sentenced to death row seventeen-years ago. Should the glacial appeals process for Polly’s killer be exhausted there is a small, but determined group of individuals who will continue to lobby on his behalf. They decry the death penalty. They have successfully denied the law and subverted the will of the people of California for far too long. We need to exert our will and demand that justice be served. It has become apparent that this will never be accomplished through the California state legislature. Join me in supporting the Death Penalty Reform & Savings Coalition.”
Victims’ Rights Advocate