Opinion: Yes on Prop. 34: Eliminate the death penalty

Proposition 34, which would eliminate the death penalty in California, should be passed because it will help save the state money while helping innocent people keep their lives. According to a July 2012 official analysis, Prop 34, which comes to us from the SAFE California Campaign, can help save up to $130 million a year by stopping the funding of executions.

Prop. 34 is suggesting the death penalty should be removed in favor of a life sentence in prison.  If you vote yes, it means no more people can be executed in the State of California.  Voting no means you support the executions of criminals in the state.

I think the money that would have been spent on enforcing the death penalty should instead be spent on police departments to help in instances such as unsolved rape and murder cases.  The increased funding could enable police to get more criminals off the streets and into jail by hiring more police and detectives.

The death penalty in California is almost useless, as only 13 people have been executed since 1978.  According to safecalifornia.org, 84 inmates have died from other causes before they could be executed.  Why should the death penalty be around if hardly anyone is executed?  With the rarity of execution, it seems counterproductive to keep the death penalty around.

Supporters of Prop. 34 include The League of Women Voters and the California Labor Association.  The League of Women Voters say the death penalty is unfair to criminals because there is always the chance of executing an innocent person.  Prop. 34 instead would take away the chance of innocent people being killed by replacing it with an immediate, certain lifelong punishment.  If Prop. 34 is passed, inmates would be taken off of death row immediately and be put on a life-long sentence.

People arguing against Prop. 34 believe the death of a criminal can help save innocent people’s lives.  The opposition believes the death penalty has stopped murders in the past.

But Prop. 34 should be passed as Californians should not pay to save a pointless law.