Credit: Michael Macor, The Chronicle / SF
By: Bob Egelko
San Francisco Chronicle
Monday, September 24, 2012
Like other state prisoners, the 725 inmates on California's Death Row can't vote. But if they could, there's evidence that most of them would vote against a November ballot initiative to abolish the death penalty.
It's not that they want to die, attorney Robert Bryan said. They just want to hang on to the possibility of proving that they're innocent, or at least that they were wrongly convicted. That would require state funding for lawyers and investigators - funding that Proposition 34 would eliminate for many Death Row inmates after the first round of appeals.
Bryan has represented several condemned prisoners in California as well as Mumia Abu-Jamal, the radical activist and commentator whose death sentence for the murder of a Philadelphia policeman was recently reduced to life in prison. The attorney said California inmates have told him they'd prefer the current law, with its prospect of lethal injection, to one that would reduce their appellate rights.