Voices from California's Death Row

J. Manuel Lopez


1. No, because the proposed law is intended to simply end an archaic practice at the expense of the innocent and injustices that may or may not have occurred during trial proceedings. By not guaranteeing the right of appeal in the proposed initiative is a denial of a basic right to challenge the conviction itself…I urge the withdrawal of the ballot initiative.

2. There is no difference between LWOP and a death sentence. Both leads to the ending of a human being’s life; LWOP is the natural slower death, while a death sentence shortens the natural life’s process and, at least one knows the steps leading to it.

3. I believe the proposed requirement to work could create a legalized form of slavery and will justify prison authorities to create a new set of disciplinary measure with which to punish prisoners that fail to show up for work. There is no need for this requirement as most institutions offer work programs and, inmates are willing to work as a necessity.

4. Elevating the percentage of punitive damages is only going to make things more difficult to prisoners – as they already are to purchase basic hygiene items…forget about food!  Are you aware that with this mandate, you are extending the punishment onto prisoners’ families? Which so often are the only economic support (they) we have!

5. No, it does not change my opinion.

6. This initiative has been poorly thought through, and shall be withdrawn from the ballot, as it directly affects my family and most importantly limits my constitutional rights. 

From J. Manuel Lopez