Proposition 34 encourages the death penalty to be repealed and replaced with life imprisonment without possibility of parole when someone is convicted of murder because it costs too much.
But in reality, the proposition weakens public safety laws and lets serial kills, cop killers, child killers and those who kill the elderly escape justice. Criminals will be let out to only rape and kill again, such as Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez, who kidnapped, raped, tortured and mutilated 14 people and terrorized 11 more.
If the proposition is passed, the harshest criminal penalty would become life in prison without the possibility of parole, meaning more than 700 inmates on death row will have their sentences replaced.
Supporters argue that California will save hundreds of millions of dollars but it’s actually going to take $100 million from the General Fund over the next four years and will result in many million more in the future in long-term costs for housing and health care of convicted killers.
Also, supporters say revenue produced by the savings to go on to the state General Fund, and would be offset during the first four years by the $100 million transferred out of the General Fund and into the Savings, Accountability and Full Enforcement for California Act fund.
The SAFE Initiative claims it will save $40 million per year by eliminating the need to investigate and conduct death penalty trials, but these facts are also misleading. Police and prosecutors will still investigate and manage murder trials unless murder is legalized. Murderers facing life in prison will not suddenly plead guilty if the death penalty is dropped.
“I think the SAFE California Act is a slap in the face to the victims and their family members,” said San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos. “Not only is the title of this initiative misleading, but its proponents are simply using California’s tough economic times to further their cause.”
Opponents believe the solution to fix the appeals process and reducing costs is simply passing a Constitutional amendment to control the appeals process. However, these efforts have failed, because anti-death penalty legislators kill the bills. Passing the proposition will not stop murderers from appealing or the defense attorneys who will still be paid to file the appeals.
The average cost per inmate at San Quentin is $57,339 and again, the death penalty will not eliminate the costs of housing these murderers, but eliminating the penalty will cost taxpayers more in healthcare costs. All inmates are given full medical and dental care at taxpayer expense.
The American Civil Liberties Union claims the death penalty is broken and expensive, but it is the ACLU and its supporters who have increased costs with endless delays.
To protect California and stop the ACLU, vote NO on 34.