On November 6, Proposition 34 will give California voters a chance to decide whether to keep or finally abolish the costly and barbaric death penalty.
The death penalty is inhumane, expensive, and just continues an endless cycle of violence.
Many in favor of the death penalty argue that it saves California money and prison space or that it finally gives the victims justice, but in fact it is quite the contrary.
For those who say the death penalty would help the state of California deal with overcrowded prisons by making space for more prisoners, since the implementation of the death penalty in California in 1976 only 13 prisoners have been executed. Thirteen prisoners in the span of 36 years is evidence that by keeping the death penalty the problem of overcrowded prisons will not be solved.
In fact, getting rid of the death penalty would save California money. According to SafeCalifornia.org, California taxpayers will save $130 million each year by replacing the death penalty with life in prison without possibility of parole. That is money that could go to funding law enforcement to help prevent these crimes.
There are others who say the death penalty is necessary so that the family and friends of the deceased can feel some sort of justice. This type of â€œjusticeâ€ leans toward vigilante-ism, which is not the correct approach. Instead life in prison without parole should replace execution. True justice is knowing the correct person responsible for the crime has been convicted and will spend the rest of his or her life in prison for the crime.
With the death penalty California runs the risk of putting to death the innocent. According to SafeCalifornia.org, since the reinstatement of the death penalty in the U.S., 140 innocent men and women have been freed from death row. â€œIn California, hundreds of innocent people have been wrongfully convicted of serious crimes, three were sentenced to deathâ€ the site says.
Not only is the death penalty immoral and inhumane. Abolishing it would save the state of California money which could go to fund law enforcement, and it would end the risk of executing potentially innocent lives.