June 26, 2009
Larry Levin (916)651-4009
Sacramento – Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) will introduce legislation on Monday, June 27th, to replace the death penalty in California with permanent imprisonment and to convert death penalty sentences to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole.
Hancock is chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee and the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Corrections, which oversees all funding for the prison system.
Hancock will amend one of her existing bills, SB 490, on Monday, June 27th, and turn it into the vehicle for carrying her death penalty legislation. The "new" bill will be printed and available on Tuesday, June 28th. It is expected to have its first hearing in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, July 5th, at 9:30 AM.
Also, Senator Hancock will discuss her new legislation in a live, one-on-one interview with host Jeffrey Callison on Capitol Public Radio's "Insight" program on Monday morning at 10 AM. It can be heard live at this site: http://www.capradio.org/insight
Senator Hancock’s legislation will be written as a statutory change to the law that will require both the Governor's signature and approval by voters in a Legislature-sponsored initiative that would be put on the November 2012 ballot.
“Capital punishment is an expensive failure and an example of the dysfunction of our prisons,” Hancock stated. “California's death row is the largest and most costly in the United States. It is not helping to protect our state; it is helping to bankrupt us.”
Hancock announced her legislation after the Los Angeles Times reported last week on a new study that highlights the exorbitant cost of maintaining the death penalty. The study projects that the cost of maintaining the death penalty will rise to $9 billion by 2030. The study reports that taxpayers have already spent more than $4 billion on only 13 executions since the death penalty was reinstated in 1978.
The report, "Executing the Will of the Voters: A Roadmap to Mend or End the California Legislature's Multi-Billion-Dollar Death Penalty Debacle," was written by U.S. 9th Circuit Judge Arthur L. Alarcon, a former prosecutor, and Loyola Law School professor Paula M. Mitchell. It will be published this week in the Loyola of Los Angeles
According to Senator Hancock, “Study after study has shown that capital punishment as a penalty is not a deterrent and that the multiple appeals that drag on for years and years multiply costs and add to the uncertainty and anxiety of victims. The death penalty failings cannot be fixed; it must be repealed. Distinguished prosecutors such as Los Angeles County’s long-time DA Gil Garcetti have come out against it. It is time for the Legislature to act.”
Senator Hancock added, “It is not simply a cost issue. More than a dozen people were wrongly executed in Illinois before that state banned the death penalty earlier this year. I don’t want to see that kind of tragic statistic in California. We need to join Illinois and the 15 other states that have chosen to substitute life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a failed death penalty.”
“Today we’re not tough on crime; we’re tough on the taxpayer. Every time we spend money on failed policies like the death penalty, we drain money from having more police officers on the street, more job training, more education, more of the things that would truly make for safer communities.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION TO END THE DEATH PENALTY IN CALIFORNIA:
1) December 15, 2020, Rabbi Michael Lerner, of Beyt Tikkun, Berkeley, and Tikkun (repair) Magazine, endorsed the petition.
2) December 17, 2010, Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, UCLA Hillel, endorsed the petition, noting it as "important efforts".
3) December 19, 2010, Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, Founder & President of Uri L'Tzedek (Orthodox Social Justice Movement), Los Angeles, endorsed the petition.
4) December 20, 2010 Rabbi Sharon Brous, Ikar (The Essence) synagogue, Los Angeles endorsed the petition.
5) December 21, 2010 Dr William S Epps, Pastor of the Second Baptist Church, Los Angeles, endorsed the petition.
6) January 10, 2011 Rabbi Susan Leider, Temple Beth Am, Los Angeles endorsed the petition.
7) January 2011 -Target change: California Governor Jerry Brown (previously Governor Schwarzenegger)
8) March 2011: Death Penalty Abolished in Illinois! Governor cites %u201Cbroken system%u201D
9) June 22, 2011 New study by a US judge and law professor analyzes the Death Penalty in California:
10) June 24, 2011 Florida�s death penalty is unconstitutional - Ruling by US Court
http://apublicdefender.com/2011/06/22/floridas-death-penalty-is-unconstitutional/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A APublicDefender %28a Public Defender%29
11) June 26, 2011 Bill to end the Death Penalty in California introduced by Senator Loni Hancock!
Joseph Zernik, PhD
Human Rights Alert (NGO)
Human Rights Alert is dedicated to discovering, archiving, and disseminating evidence of Human Rights violations by the justice systems of the State of California and the United States in Los Angeles County, California, and beyond. Human Rights Alert focuses on the unique role of computerized case management systems in the precipitous deterioration of the integrity of the justice system in the United States.
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