Californians to Vote on Ending Death Penalty
Californians will vote in November on whether to stop using execution as a form of punishment, or reform the legal process leading up to the death sentence.
The state of California currently has about 750 people on death row. A lot of them were sentenced to die many years ago, but their cases are still being appealed in the courts.
Death penalty process broken
Activists on both sides of the issue agree that the current system needs to be fixed. Two competing ballot measures attempt to do this.
Proposition 62 would permanently abolish the death penalty in California. If it became law, death row prisoners would have their sentences changed to life in prison with no possibility of being released.
Proposition 66 would try to speed up executions by reforming parts of the appeals process. The changes would set time limits on court appeals and make more lawyers available to dispute death penalty rulings.
Paula Mitchell is with Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California. She says Californians have spent way too much on executions since the state brought back the death penalty in 1978.
Billions spent since 1978
"California taxpayers have spent $5 billion. The state has executed 13 people. Roughly 100 have died on death row before their appeals were finished or before the state could execute them."
Actor and activist Mike Farrell says the death penalty has killed innocent people. He claims it is used only against poor people and the poorly defended. "It entraps and kills the innocent. There is simply, in my view, no justice and no justification for it."
Former football player Kermit Alexander supports capital punishment. His mother, sister and two nephews were murdered in Los Angeles in 1984. But Alexander said he believes it should only be for justice, not revenge. The man found guilty of killing his family is still on death row, waiting in jail after more than 30 years.
In addition to California, 30 other American states have the death penalty. But it is rarely carried out in the United States.
Sharp decline in U.S. executions
The rate of U.S. executions has fallen sharply over the past seven years. In 2009, 52 executions were carried out, according to the Washington D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center. In 2015, there were 28 executions. This year, there have been 15.
Many government lawyers say the punishment should be kept for people who carry out the very worst crimes.
Mike Hestrin is District Attorney for Riverside County, California. "I think it is a tool that we prosecutors need, and that the justice system needs, in order to appropriately punish people that commit outrageous and heinous crimes.
Hestrin added that executions are also a way for society to express anger at the crimes committed.
Critics like Mike Farrell note that the United States is one of only a few democratic nations to keep the death penalty. "I think it corrupts the society. And I think it demeans us as people."
Californians will vote on the issue November 8.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.Death Penalty 死刑
If convicted for murder, both youngsters could face the death penalty.
2.carry out 实施
The Social Democrats could still carry out their threat to leave the government
3.death row 死囚牢房；死刑犯
He has been on Death Row for 11 years.
4.death sentence 死刑判决
His original death sentence was commuted to life in prison.
1.Californians will vote in November on whether to stop using execution as a form of punishment, or reform the legal process leading up to the death sentence.
lead up to 导致；作为...的准备
You'll be able to lead up to excellence in life.
The first chapter of the book describes the events that lead up to?
2.In addition to California, 30 other American states have the death penalty.
In addition to 除...之外
In addition to the tractor, we have acquired a new rice transplanter.
In addition to my weekly wage, I got a lot of tips.
加州现存死囚约750名 。其中大多数人很多年前就被判处死刑，但是他们仍在向法院提起上诉 。
对此，持不同意见的两方都认为现有的判决体系需要改革 。两派民众进行投票表决也是为了这一目的 。
《62号提案》建议永久取消加利福尼亚州的死刑 。如果该提案通过，死囚的判决将改为终身监禁，即没有释放的可能性 。
《66号提案》建议通过改革部分申诉流程来加快死刑的执行周期 。该变革限制了向法院上诉的时间，让更多律师参与到死刑判决的讨论中 。
保拉·米切尔（Paula Mitchell）是加州洛杉矶洛约拉法学院的一名学生 。她表示，自1978年恢复死刑以来，加州在死刑处决上花费太多 。
“加州公民为了死刑“破费”50亿美元 。国家总共处决了13名囚犯 。约100人没等到上诉受理或政府处决就已经命丧牢房了 。“
演员兼社会活动家迈克·法雷尔（Mike Farrell）表示，死刑残害无辜之人性命 。他声称这只是针对那些穷人和没有势力的人 。“它欺骗并杀害无辜人士 。在我看来，死刑既不公正也不合理 。”
前足球运动员亚历山大·克米特（Kermit Alexander）支持死刑 。1984年，他的母亲、姐姐和两个侄子在洛杉矶被人杀害 。然而，亚历山大表示，死刑应该只用来维护正义，而不是复仇 。杀害他家人的凶手现仍在死牢里，已经在监狱里呆了30余年 。
除加州外，美国还有30个州保留死刑 。但美国很少执行死刑 。
7年来，美国死刑处决率已大幅减少 。华盛顿特区的死刑信息中心表示，2009年共执行了52起死刑 。而2015年仅执行了28起 。今年已执行了15次起 。
迈克·何思成（Mike Hestrin）是加利福尼亚州河滨县的检察官 。 “我认为死刑既是检察官需要的审判工具，也是司法系统惩罚那些犯下滔天罪行的犯人的方式 。
迈克·法雷尔（Mike Farrell）等评论家指出，美国是仅有几个保留死刑的民主国家之一 。 “我认为死刑会导致社会腐败 。而且降低了我们人类的身份 。”