Californians Increasingly Support Death Penalty Repeal

With election day just over a week away, a new Los Angeles Times poll shows promise for the passage of Proposition 34, the ballot initiative that would repeal California’s death penalty. The latest poll questioned 1,504 registered voters by telephone from October 15- 21 and the gap between opponents and supporters shrunk from 13 percent in September, to just 3 percent -a statistical tie- in October.

Although 45 percent of poll respondents opposed death penalty repeal while 42 percent said they support it, when voters were given more information about the measure, such as its financial impact and effect on prisoners, responses flipped: 45 percent were in favor of Proposition 34 and 42 percent were against it. A significant 12 percent of respondents said they did not yet know how they will vote. This poll was taken just before numerous ads in support of Proposition 34 began running throughout the state.

Proposition 34 would apply retroactively to current death row inmates and replace the death penalty with life without parole. It would require convicted murderers to work in prison and contribute their earnings to victim compensation funds. It would also direct $100 million to law enforcement over four years, and according to California’s nonpartisan legislative analyst, it could save the state as much as $130 million a year.

California has the largest death row in the nation with 727 inmates. It has executed 13 inmates since the death penalty was reinstated in 1978, and there has not been an execution in six years. TADP is hopeful that California voters will turn out on election day, vote YES on Proposition 34, and abolish their costly, unjust, and ineffective death penalty.  To learn more and get involved, please visit SAFE California’s website, and encourage any friends and family in California to get out the vote!

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