Of the 930 people who’ve been sentenced to death since 1978, only 15 have actually been executed. Why only 15? Because execution is quite literally a life or death situation, the courts provide ample opportunity for appeal. This process takes years – decades, even. And it costs a lot of money. The legal costs for processing all of these appeals totals roughly $55 million per year. The 15 executions have cost the state a total of $4 billion.
Props 62 & 66 offer solutions.
Prop 62 wants to eliminate the death penalty, thus saving California billions of dollars in legal fees. Former Death Row inmates, would no longer require to be under solitary confinement, which would significantly reduce costs, as well. Also, Prop 62 would require former Death Row inmates to work during their sentence, with 60% of their wages going to repay debt owed to victims.
Prop 66 looks to streamline the appeals process and keep the death penalty. There would be a 5 year limit on the appeals process, allowing the lower courts to hear appeals. It would also allow Death Row inmates to be moved to other prisons besides San Quinten for men or the Central California Women’s Facility. Prop 66 would also require inmates to work, with 70% of wages going to repay debt owed to victims. Lastly, the methods of execution are continuously being challenged in the courts. Prop 65 would allow the state to create new execution methods without public comment or oversight.
A YES vote on Prop 62 eliminates the death penalty, retroactive to current Death Row inmates.
A NO vote on Prop 62 continues existing policy regarding the death penalty, pending the results on Prop 66.
A YES vote on Prop 66 restricts the appeals process for Death Row inmates to 5 years by loosening restrictions on which courts can hear cases.
A NO vote on Prop 66 keeps things as is, pending the results on Prop 62.
For more information, please go to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office:
PROP 62: http://www.lao.ca.gov/BallotAnalysis/Proposition?number=62&year=2016
PROP 66: http://www.lao.ca.gov/BallotAnalysis/Proposition?number=66&year=2016