Sunday, June 24, 2012
The SAFE California campaign is taking our message to the streets at San Francisco's mammoth festivities today.
I spent yesterday afternoon distributing these stickers. Conversations with my fellow citizens about the November ballot measure to replace the death penalty with sentences of life in prison without parole are fascinating, as usual.
There are some who feel that justice is impossible if the state doesn't reserve the right to kill people who commit awful crimes. But there are many who understand that our death penalty law has created a dysfunctional, expensive monster that isn't delivering either justice or safety.
They are not surprised to hear the 46 percent of murders and 56 percent of rapes each year are not solved, while money is lavished on keeping the death system going. When they think about it -- and, naturally, few do until we speak with them -- they readily believe it would be cheaper to just give offenders one trial and then life in prison. And very few of the folks we speak with are comfortable with the unavoidable risk that California could execute an innocent person.
Back to the streets ...