Just when you thought it was safe

Examining the California SAFE Act

By: Tim Young

When I first arrived to San Quentin's Death Row in April of 2006, the topic of discussion at that time revolved around building a new Death Row and a new death chamber. Unfortunately for the California Department of Corrections, the economy tanked in 2007 and their hopes of breaking ground on a new facility never materialized. But, all was not lost . . . Amid a veil of secrecy, they did manage to erect a million dollar death chamber.

A closer look at SAFE California

Examining the California SAFE Act

By: Julien Ball

Proponents of a November ballot initiative that would abolish the death penalty in California were celebrating last month after Secretary of State Debra Bowen cleared the measure to appear on the November 2012 ballot.

Supporters of the Savings, Accountability and Full Enforcement for California Act (known as the SAFE California Act) turned in more than 800,000 signatures for the measure, far more than the 504,000 required to qualify. This raises the prospect of shutting down the largest death row in the U.S. But it also brings to the fore important debates among activists who want to see a more just system--because the SAFE California Act makes so many concessions to the supporters of law and order.

Abolition of the death penalty in California would be very significant. It would follow on the heels of the passage of death penalty repeal legislation over the past several years in New Jersey, New Mexico, Illinois and, most recently, Connecticut.

No Thank You

Examining the California SAFE Act

By: Kevin Cooper

I have been asked what I think about "The SAFE California Act," which is being pushed as a real alternative to this state’s death penalty. I have been asked by activists, death row inmates, and certain family members of death row inmates. I have also asked myself this same question. After all, it is our future which is being voted on by the people of California in November 2012.

Life Without Parole Is A Terrible Idea

Examining the California SAFE Act

By: David R. Dow

If California dumps the death penalty this November, abolitionists will probably dance in the streets. But they shouldn’t, because the state would be abandoning one terrible idea only to replace it with another.

The so-called Savings, Accountability, and Full Enforcement for California Act, or SAFE, would eliminate capital punishment across the board in favor of life without parole. Death-penalty opponents easily collected more than half a million signatures to get SAFE on the ballot. If it passes, the lives of 725 prisoners currently awaiting execution will be spared. Instead of dying on a gurney from lethal injection, they will die in prison of natural causes (or maybe violence).

How I came to believe in Rodney's innocence

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed

By: Caitlin Adams

This is being written with a heavy heart, after just receiving word that Magistrate Judge Austin has recommended against Rodney 's habeas case for relief.  Rodney's case is now in the hands of District Judge Yeakel, who can either agree or disagree with the magistrate's recommendation.  Rodney's defense team is now diligently reviewing Judge Austin's 82 page opinion and preparing objections, identifying errors and oversights, and  arguments to present before Judge Yeakel.

After riding my bike past Rodney's home and noticing the banner hanging from the front porch, which reads “Innocent Man on Death Row Free Rodney Reed”, I had no idea at the time how my life journey would change course.  At that moment, I just knew that I wanted to know more about this man and his story.

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