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November 5, 2012

Prop. 34 and the Death Penalty

Thumbnail image for Levenson2.jpg Professor Laurie Levenson was quoted in a Guernica Magazine story by Casey Michel titled, "California's Death Penalty Decision," published on November 5.

Levenson on what separates this proposition from previous attempts to repeal the death penalty:

"This round's not really about a morality issue--it's a cost issue," says Levenson. "The pitch this time [from the repeal camp] is that when we can't fund our schools, can't fund our highways, why are we funding this program that already has these exorbitant costs?"

To support Levenson's argument, Michel references Adjunct Professor Paula Mitchell's 2011 report on death penalty costs in California.

Michel writes:

"A report from 2011, authored by Judge Arthur Alarcon and Prof. Paula Mitchell, found that switching those on death row to life imprisonments without parole-as Prop 34 would accomplish-would save the state $170 million per year, tallied to $5 billion over the next two decades."

Levenson also spoke about proposition's chances of passing:

"I don't know what's going to happen, but this is the most traction I've seen the death penalty repeal get in decades," Levenson noted. "We can't shorten the process. We can't take shortcuts. There's too much at stake."

Read the full article here.