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Top ten reasons Californians should vote to abolish capital punishment

Death penalty protestor in Utah, June 2010
Death penalty protestor in Utah, June 2010
Guy Murray

This Tuesday, Californians will have the opportunity to end capital punishment in our state by voting YES on Proposition 34.

Proposition 34 replaces the state's death penalty with a sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole, which would apply retroactively to current death row inmates.

The ballot measure would also require all persons convicted of murder to work while in prison, and have their wages garnished to pay restitution to victims' families.

Californians should vote YES on Prop. 34 for a multitude of reasons, including the top ten listed below:

10. Capital punishment is morally indefensible.

9. Capital punishment provides neither revenge nor closure for victims' families.

8. Carrying out capital punishment puts California (and the United States) in very bad international company, and thwarts the extradition of terror suspects by our allies.

7. Capital punishment is unconstitutional.

6. Capital punishment is racially unjust.

5. Capital punishment sends our society the wrong message.

4. Capital punishment is not an effective deterrent to violent crime.

3. Capital punishment kills mentally ill and developmentally delayed people.

2. Capital punishment kills innocent people.

And if none of the previous reasons is convincing enough, consider this purely financial one:

1. Capital punishment is far more expensive than a sentence of life imprisonment without parole.

On November 6, vote YES on 34 to abolish California's death penalty.

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