the ballot this November
No prisoners have been put to death in California since a 2006 court order, but
a ballot initiative headed to the polls in November could put an end to the
advertisement Californians upset with capital punishment will be allowed to
have their say this November about abolishing the practice of executing
Opponents of the death penalty submitted to the state some 800,000 signatures,
enough to qualify a ballot initiative that would end capital punishment,
according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
If passed in the November election, the initiative would close California's
death row, which at 725 prisoners is the largest in the United States,
according to the newspaper.
One of the leaders of the initiative is a former warden of San Quentin State
Prison, where the state's Death Row is located. The alternative to executions
would be life imprisonment without parole, she said.
This could be a tough one to win, however. The death penalty has historically
enjoyed high support in California: the state Supreme Court banned executions
in 1972, only to have voters reinstate them a few years later.
The issue boils down to whether voters identify more with murderers or their
victims, experts told the newspaper.
A 2006 court order halted all executions in California for unrelated reasons.
They appear unlikely to resume in the near future regardless of the November
vote, according to the newspaper.