The way it is now: In California, some murder convictions can get sentences of either death, or life imprisonment with no chance of parole. Most death penalty cases last for decades. Prisoners on death row have much higher court and prison costs than people serving life sentences. Since 1978, when the death penalty was reinstated in California, 900 individuals have received death sentences. Only 14 of them have been executed.
What Prop 34 would do if it passes:
End the death penalty, and make life imprisonment with no chance of parole the maximum punishment for murder.
This change would apply to prisoners currently on death row.
Prop 34 would also set up a new “SAFE California Fund,” providing a total of $100 million over 4 years to local law enforcement agencies to make faster progress on open murder and rape cases.
Require persons found guilty of murder to work while in prison, with their wages to be applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them.
Effect on the state budget:
The state and counties would save about $130 million each year from less court activity and lower prison costs. The state would spend a total of $100 million over 4 years on the SAFE California Fund.
People for Prop 34 say (www.safecalifornia.org):
Evidence shows that more than 100 innocent people have been sentenced to death in the United States, and some have been executed.
California will save hundreds of millions of dollars.
People against Prop 34 say (www.waitingforjustice.net):
Prop 34 lets murderers who commit vicious crimes escape justice.
Prop 34 takes money from the General Fund to pay for a program we don’t need.