On Nov. 8, you will be asked to vote on two opposing ballot initiatives that address the death penalty in your state. Please vote YES on Proposition 62 to abolish the death penalty and NO on Proposition 66 to speed up the execution process.
If Proposition 62 passes and the death penalty is eliminated, criminals guilty of first-degree murder will be penalized with life in prison without the possibility of parole. If Proposition 66 passes, there will be a five-year time limit for state courts to hear appeals and executions, on hold since 2006, will resume at the expense of prisoner rights. In the event that both measures pass, the proposition with the higher number of votes will be enacted.
Currently, there are 748 California prisoners awaiting execution on "death row."
Two-thirds of nations in the world have abolished the death penalty, along with about 20 U.S. states. Many freethinkers, who were historically the first to call for the abolition of the death penalty, consider capital punishment unacceptable in a nation governed by the principles of reason and justice. The continuation of the barbaric "eye-for-an-eye" principle puts California's criminal justice system in the same category as some of the most tyrannical regimes on the globe and ISIS. In the event that a human has committed a crime so cold-blooded and horrific as premeditated murder of another human, isn't it illogical and unethical to right the crime with another premeditated execution?
"While the root source of capital punishment may not be solely biblical, in the Western world, the bible is the sourcebook for the death penalty," FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor has noted. It was under the law of Moses that the death penalty was required in cases of premeditated murder outlined in Exodus 21:22, which commands "Life, for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth."
Newspaper editorial boards in California overwhelmingly support abolishing the state's death penalty, not only considering it cruel and inhumane and a punishment that targets poor people and people of color, but also a process that costs taxpayers far more than life imprisonment.
On Nov. 8, please help abolish the archaic tradition of capital punishment. Vote yes on Proposition 62 to end the death penalty and vote no on Proposition 66.
Los Angeles Times editorial: Props 62 and 66: California voters should end the death penalty, not speed it up