California's death penalty system has failed. Taxpayers have spent more than $5 billion since 1978 to carry out 13 executions—a cost of $384 million per execution.
The death penalty is an empty promise to victims' families and carries the unavoidable risk of executing an innocent person.
YES ON 62 REPLACES THIS COSTLY, FAILED SYSTEM WITH A STRICT LIFE SENTENCE AND ZERO CHANCE OF PAROLE
Under Prop. 62, the death penalty will be replaced with a strict life sentence. Those convicted of the worst crimes will NEVER be released. Instead of being housed in expensive private cells on death row, murderers will be kept with other maximum-security inmates.
WORK AND RESTITUTION
Criminals who would otherwise sit on death row and in courtrooms during the decades-long appeals guaranteed by the Constitution, will instead have to work and pay restitution to their victims' families.
REAL CLOSURE FOR VICTIMS' FAMILIES
"California's death penalty system is a long, agonizing ordeal for our family. As my sister's killer sits through countless hearings, we continually relive this tragedy. The death penalty is an empty promise of justice. A life sentence without parole would bring real closure."—Beth Webb, whose sister was murdered with seven other people in a mass-shooting at an Orange County hair salon.
HUGE COST SAVINGS CONFIRMED BY IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS
The state's independent Legislative Analyst confirmed Prop. 62 will save $150 million per year. A death row sentence costs 18 times more than life in prison. Resources can be better spent on education, public safety, and crime prevention that actually works.
DEATH PENALTY SYSTEM FLAWS RUN DEEP
California has not executed anyone in 10 years because of serious problems. For nearly 40 years, every attempted fix has failed to make the death penalty system work. It's simply unworkable.
"I prosecuted killers using California's death penalty law, but the high costs, endless delays and total ineffectiveness in deterring crime convinced me we need to replace the death penalty system with life in prison without parole."—John Van de Kamp, former Los Angeles District Attorney and former California Attorney General.
THE RISK OF EXECUTING AN INNOCENT PERSON IS REAL
DNA technology and new evidence have proven the innocence of more than 150 people on death row after they were sentenced to death. In California, 66 people had their murder convictions overturned because new evidence showed they were innocent.
Carlos DeLuna was executed in 1989, but an independent investigation later proved his innocence. Executing an innocent person is a mistake that can never be undone.
FORMER DEATH PENALTY ADVOCATES: YES ON 62
"I led the campaign to bring the death penalty back to California in 1978. It was a costly mistake. Now I know we just hurt the victims' families we were trying to help and wasted taxpayer dollars. The death penalty cannot be fixed. We need to replace it, lock up murderers for good, make them work, and move on."—Ron Briggs, led the campaign to create California's death penalty system.
JEANNE WOODFORD, Former Death Row Warden
DONALD HELLER, Author of California's Death Penalty Law
BETH WEBB, Sister of Victim Murdered in 2011
California's death penalty HASN'T failed; it was intentionally sabotaged.
Key supporters of Proposition 62—like the ACLU—have spent decades undermining the death penalty; now they argue for repeal.
For the sake of victims, DON'T LET THEM WIN!
We all agree that the death penalty in California isn't working. The solution is to MEND, NOT END, the death penalty. California's frontline prosecutors and almost all our 58 elected District Attorneys have a plan to fix it.
STARTING WITH VOTING NO ON PROPOSITION 62!
The system is expensive because BRUTAL KILLERS file endless, frivolous appeals, spending decades on death row. Prop. 62 backers want you to believe that granting these thugs lifetime healthcare, housing, meals, and privileges will save money? WHO ARE THEY FOOLING?
They say we don't need a death penalty. Really?
There's about 2,000 murders in California annually. Approximately 15—the worst of the worst—receive a death sentence. Who are they?
• MASS MURDERERS/SERIAL KILLERS. • Murderers who RAPED/TORTURED victims. • CHILD KILLERS. • TERRORISTS.
Ask the proponents of Proposition 62: if a murderer sentenced to "Life Without Parole" escapes and murders again, or kills a prison guard, what sentence will they give him? Another life without parole?
The proponent of Prop. 62—an actor—wants you to believe the movie script. But let's be clear, there are no innocents on California's death row. They cite one case from Texas from 1989, still under dispute. California has never executed an innocent, and never will.
Join victims' families and law enforcement and VOTE NO ON PROP. 62!
MICHELE HANISEE, President
Association of Deputy District Attorneys of Los Angeles County
MARC KLAAS, Father of 12-year-old Murder Victim Polly Klaas
LAREN LEICHLITER, President
San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriffs Association
Join us in VOTING NO on PROPOSITION 62!
Let's be clear what Proposition 62 does.
Proposition 62 says the worst of the worst murderers get to stay alive, at the taxpayers' expense, decades after committing their horrible crimes, and mocking the pain of their victims' families.
The death penalty is reserved for only the worst murderers like child killers, rape/torture murderers, serial murderers, and cop killers. Just 1–2% of about 2,000 murders in California annually end up with a death sentence.
Proposition 62 says these most heinous crimes should have no higher level of punishment. We disagree. For the very worst criminals, there needs to be a death penalty.
We all know California's death penalty system is broken. Death row inmates are now able to file one frivolous appeal after another, denying justice.
The answer is to MEND, NOT END California's death penalty laws.
Prosecutors, law enforcement, and the families of murder victims OPPOSE PROPOSITION 62 because it jeopardizes public safety, denies justice and closure to victims' families, and rewards the most horrible killers.
The backers of Proposition 62 want you to believe they are protecting wrongly-convicted death row prisoners from being executed.
But in a meeting with the San Francisco Chronicle, Governor Jerry Brown, "a former Attorney General, said there are no innocent inmates on California's death row." (3/7/12)
The backers of Proposition 62 say it will save taxpayers money. WHO ARE THEY FOOLING?
Under Prop. 62, taxpayers are on the hook to feed, clothe, house, guard, and provide healthcare to brutal killers until they die of old age. Even give them a heart transplant!
That's why Mike Genest, former California Finance Director, says, "Prop. 62 will cost over $100 million."
If Proposition 62 doesn't protect victims and doesn't protect taxpayers, just who does Proposition 62 protect?
Prop. 62 protects Charles Ng, a brutal serial killer who kidnapped families, tortured/killed children in front of their parents, killed the father, and then repeatedly raped the mother before killing her.
Ng committed his crimes over 30 years ago, delayed his trial for nearly 15 years with appeals, and was finally tried, convicted, and sentenced to death almost 20 years ago. He's still on death row, filing appeals to delay his punishment, long after his victims were silenced forever.
Who else does Proposition 62 protect?
Richard Allen Davis, who kidnapped, raped, and tortured 12-year-old Polly Klaas.
Serial killer Robert Rhoads, who kidnapped, raped, and tortured 8-year-old Michael Lyons before stabbing him 70 times.
And hundreds more like them.
California's death row inmates include the killers of:
• Over 1,000 MURDER VICTIMS. • 226 CHILDREN. • 43 PEACE OFFICERS. • 294 victims who were RAPED or TORTURED before being killed.
The American Civil Liberties Union supports repealing the death penalty; the very same people who file all the frivolous appeals that have bogged down the system. Now they are using the problems they created to argue the death penalty should be repealed.
DON'T BE FOOLED. Join us and VOTE NO on PROPOSITION 62!
Visit www.NoProp62YesProp66.com for more information.
MIKE RAMOS, District Attorney of San Bernardino County
MARC KLAAS, Father of 12-year-old Murder Victim
MIKE DURANT, President
Peace Officers Research Association of California
YES ON 62 REQUIRES A STRICT LIFE SENTENCE—WHY KEEP PAYING FOR A COSTLY, FAILED DEATH PENALTY SYSTEM?
Prop. 62 locks up the worst murderers for life and ends the huge cost of death row. These murderers will never be paroled or set free. They will have to work and pay restitution to the families of their victims.
Most of those sentenced to death already end up spending life in prison because 99% of death sentences are never carried out. Yet it costs 18 times more to house them on death row and pay for their attorneys than a strict life sentence without parole.
YES ON 62 SAVES $150 MILLION A YEAR
The state's nonpartisan fiscal advisor—the Legislative Analyst—confirms Prop. 62 will save taxpayers $150 million every year. Read the analysis for yourself in this Voter Guide.
38 YEARS OF FAILURE
Opponents of Prop. 62 admit the death penalty system is broken. In fact, the death penalty advocates who created this system now admit it has failed, despite many attempts to fix it. Since 1978, taxpayers have spent $5 billion on the death penalty, yet over the last ten years there hasn't been a single execution.
The long and costly appeals process is mandated by the Constitution so an innocent person isn't wrongly executed. It can't be changed. Vote YES on Prop. 62 to save hundreds of millions of dollars and keep vicious killers locked up, working and paying restitution to the families of their victims.
ROBYN BARBOUR, Grandmother was Murdered in 1994
JOHN DONOHUE, Ph.D., Professor of Economics and Law
Stanford Law School
RON BRIGGS, Led Campaign to Bring the Death Penalty Back in 1978
Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors, and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.