End the Death Penalty or Speed It Up – California Faces Opposing Ballot Initiatives

Credit: Photo: Eric Risberg/AP
A condemned inmate is wheeled back to his cell on death row at San Quentin State Prison on Aug. 16, 2016.
By: Liliana Segura
The Intercept
ON THE DAY a California jury sentenced 25-year-old Irving Ramirez to die, Dionne Wilson went out to a bar to celebrate. “We had a major party,” she told me. Ramirez had shot and killed her husband, Dan, in 2005 — the first Alameda County cop to be murdered in the line of duty in almost 40 years.

Death Penalty Loses Majority Support for First Time in 45 Years

By: Niraj Chokshi
New York Times

For the first time in almost half a century, support for the death penalty has dipped below 50 percent in the United States.

Voices from California's Death Row

Death Penalty Initiatives in the California Election


We invite people to check this ongoing and vitally important election year project:  

Voices From California's Death Row. 

There are two initiatives that have made it on the ballot for the November election– Proposition 62 is called "The Justice that Works Act" and seeks to replace the death penalty with life without possibility of parole.  

The other is Proposition 66 and is called the "Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act of 2016".

Voices from California's Death Row

Tracy Dearl Cain

I am writing this letter in response to your request for comments from CA Death Row inmates regarding the proposed Justice that Works Act, 2016.

My name is Tracy Dearl Cain. I’ve been on California Death Row going on 30 years now. I am a reasonably intelligent man. This is my personal response to the Justice that Works Act of 2016. I can’t speak for the entire Death Row population.  Personally, it’s hard for me to get around the idea that advocates for justice could structure a proposal that eludes the very essence of what justice stands for: Fairness.

Texas Sees an Unusual Lull in Executions

By: Jolie McCullough
The Texas Tribune

The last execution in Texas was more than five months ago, the longest gap since 2008. While the hiatus eight years ago reflected a nationwide pause as the U.S. Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of lethal injection, this time the reasons for the slowdown are less clear.

Execution dates are still being set, but judges and courts have been rescheduling or stopping executions. At least two judges on the state's highest criminal court say better lawyering by defense attorneys has contributed to the recent stays. Death penalty opponents are looking for a silver lining, hoping the court is more deeply scrutinizing the constitutional use of the punishment.

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