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Voices from California's Death Row

Death Penalty Initiatives in the California Election


By: CEDP

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".


It's a small world

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

This is going to be a more personal piece; I hope you all won't mind. As my physical world shrinks with the inexorable progression of Lou (ALS), I am astounded at how my emotional/relational world just keeps getting bigger!  And how the big blue ball world gets smaller.

One day recently I found this message in my inbox on Facebook:

Hello Caitlin, my name is Karine, I'm a French woman living in Israel. I'm sending you this message cause I've been DEEPLY touched by your blog about Rodney Reed that I found by chance. Since I remember myself I'm deeply against death penalty but only a year ago I discovered the inhuman conditions on death row in Texas. Since this discover I also correspond with a man who is actually on death row in Polunsky.
When I see a woman like you, I'm full of admiration and I want toTHANK YOU for this great lesson of humanity!


What exactly does a "Right to Counsel" mean?

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

March 18th marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark, unanimous Supreme Court decision in Gideon v Wainwright, in which the court held that the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees a person charged with a serious crime the right to have legal representation.  This decision should have changed the entire landscape, should have leveled the playing field in jurisprudence. Sadly, that is not the case.


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.


Voices from California's Death Row

Brooke Rottiers


1.      Would you like to see “The Justice that Works Act” passed or not? Why or why not? 


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