Question of the week: “Do you support state Proposition 34 on the November ballot, which would abolish the death penalty in California and replace it with life in prison without parole?”
David Cohen: Yes, because we don't seem to be using the death penalty. So let's abolish it and proceed with what we already have, which is life in prison.
Bert Berson: Yes. It serves no purpose and costs a great deal.
Dave Appling: Yes. The financial aspects are beside the point. The death penalty is morally justifiable only if it is an effective deterrent. The evidence shows that it is not, at least not at the state level (I can, however, see certain exceptions under military law).
Kathy Sullivan: Yes. Society needs to be protected from those who would do it harm. However if we value life as one of our most precious gifts, we have to value the lives of even those among us who do not honor life. They should be incarcerated but not killed. The inequity of who receives the death penalties is an important piece of this issue.
Lisa Pampuch: Yes. The death penalty is expensive – much more expensive than life in prison without parole – and does not deter crime. When you consider the finality of the sentence and the risk of executing an innocent person, it's clear that voters should approve Prop 34.
Chris Bryant: Yes, Ultimately this will save the state millions with no difference from today where those waiting for execution are effectively in jail for life due to the extremely lengthy appeal process in addition to the challenges to execution methods.
Julian Mancias: Yes. The death penalty is wrong. Innocent people have been put to death only to discover at a later date that they were innocent of the crime which they had supposedly committed.
Jeff Smith: No, I do not support Prop 34. The people on death row have committed heinous, horrible, and unspeakable crimes, and deserve to die. What about the innocent victims and their family members? Who is donating millions on their behalf? The propaganda that this proposition will somehow save money is ridiculous. Free housing, food, entertainment, medical and dental for life is cheaper than a lethal injection? Really? As far as the legal cost of endless appeals, well, if they're all innocent, then won't they also have the right to endlessly appeal a life sentence without parole?
Jeff Nunes: No. There are some crimes so heinous that the only appropriate punishment is the death penalty. That’s not to say that there are not improvements and safeguards that should be in place and can be with modern technology. Most of the arguments against it (deterrence, financial, etc.) miss the point by ignoring the suffering of the victims and their families and compromising one of the legitimate functions of our government – to administer justice.
Karen Anderson: Yes. The death penalty is too costly. As much as the families of victims want swift and meaningful justice, which I support, the justice is anything but swift.