Capital punishment is a legal form of punishment in California, with the first recorded execution in the area that is now California taking place in 1778. In 1972, the state’s death penalty was found unconstitutional and the penalty was suspended, thus sparing Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan along with others from execution. In 1978, the death penalty was reinstated through a voter approved initiative and remained until 2006 when District Judge Jeremy Fogel halted executions when serious flaws in the state’s execution process were discovered. The November 2012 ballot has brought the issue forward again for voters to address. Since California’s death penalty was enacted through a ballot proposition the only way to replace it is through a voter-approved ballot measure.
APRIL 2012 DATA ON CALIFORNIA’S DEATH ROW OCCUPANTS
♦ There are 724 offenders on California’s death row.
♦ Nineteen of the 724 offenders are women.
♦ 126 offenders imposed torture before they killed the victim(s).
♦ 173 killed children.
♦ 44 murdered police officers.
♦ Death row racial populations: 261 are African American; 257 Caucasian;
169 Latino; 12 Native American; 25 Asian
OTHER DEATH PENALTY FACTS*
♦ 34 states have the death penalty; 16 do not.
♦ Approximately 3,261 are on death row in 37 states, military and federal prisons.
♦ Since 1976, there have been 1,246 executions in the United States.
♦ Recent Supreme Court decisions have limited the use of the death penalty by
declaring it unconstitutional to execute persons with mental retardation and
juveniles under the age of 18, ruling also that the jury will decide whether to
impose the death penalty.
*Source: Death Penalty Information Center
RESEARCH THE INTERNET
- Enter USCCB.org in Search. Click on “Backgrounder on the Death Penalty” http://www.USCCB.org/deathpenalty
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalpunishment in California
No doubt we will hear arguments from supporters and opponents of this Proposition and all the others on the ballot, so here are some examples to give you food for thought.
Prepared by the The Sisters and Associates of the Holy Family Peace and Justice Committee.