Sunday, October 07, 2012


Prop. 34, the initiative to replace California's death penalty with sentences of life in prison without possibility of parole, has gotten lots of sympathetic media coverage. Why today, the campaign was the subject of a sympathetic Wall Street Journal story. And almost all the major California newspapers have joined the call for a "YES" vote.

But no question, one of my favorite endorsements has been the one we got this week from the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Here's a taste:

You want to know about the effectiveness of the death penalty in California? Try this: the number one cause of death among condemned inmates on death row is old age.

Then try this: The cost of implementing the death penalty since it was restored in California in 1978 exceeds $4 billion — about $308 million for each of the 13 people the state has killed.

So: California could hire 5,000 more teachers for every inmate strapped into a gurney and pumped full of lethal drugs. Sound like a bargain?

...This is a big deal; it's a reason to go to the polls even if you're disenchanted by Obama and unhappy with your local candidates. If California rolls back the death penalty, the rest of the country may start to follow.

If you still believe the death penalty deters crime, never mind: Go ahead and defy all of the evidence and vote against Prop. 34. If you're a member of the reality-based community, please: Round up your friends, your family, your neighbors and vote yes on 34.

Now there's a tone I can get behind.

The Guardian has long been known for its exhaustive and feisty endorsements. We have an awful lot of elections and propositions in California and they've always done their opinionated best to explicate all of them. This year the irascible (and tyrannical if you wanted a union) newsweekly founder Bruce Brugmann sold to the Examiner. I had feared they'd be moderating their endorsements -- but this election cycle, definitely not.

1 comment:

Ronni Bennett said...

I'm sure a whole lot of this media coverage is due to your hard work. Hurray - this is looking so good for election day and California could become a harbinger for the rest of the states.

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