california proposition 34
As a prosecutor who deals with the "worst of the worst," I was deeply troubled by the potential success of a referendum campaign called Proposition 34 that overturned the death penalty in California.
This debate will go on, but the delusional thinking in the death penalty equation is based on the logic of deterring vicious criminals from killing people. It's not. As I've stated, proponents would love to make this claim but they can't. There are simply too many variables involved to support it.
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I was locked up more than 20 years ago for a murder I did not commit and last year, I was finally able to prove my innocence and was released. Replacing the death penalty is the only way we can guarantee that we will never make a fatal mistake in California.
Given that the central narrative of the Christian faith is an unjust execution, to separate faith from our discussions about the death penalty is to guarantee an incomplete consideration of Proposition 34 for most voters.
I don't remember the first letter I got from Paris. I don't remember him coming into my life at all. He was just always there; a far-away pen pal, a friendly grownup presence who I knew only through letters and one greenish Polaroid of him standing with arms crossed in front of a metal grate.
The death penalty is expensive, provides no deterrent effect, and represents pure retribution -- a visceral bloodlust that invokes a violent American past. But most of all, the death penalty -- as practiced in California and throughout the U.S. -- is irretrievably broken.
When I was just 16 years old, I was stripped of my freedom, wrongfully convicted of a murder I did not commit. I spent twenty years behind bars before I was finally able to prove my innocence. If I had been sentenced to death, would I have been able to prove my innocence in time?
Californians' Votes on Proposition 34 Count for Much More than the Future of California's Death Penalty
The vote on November 6 is not just a referendum on whether the one billion dollar governmental program that is the death penalty in California is worth it. It is a referendum on whether we will put an end to a system broken beyond repair.