Prop 34 Offers End to Death Penalty
On Election Day, Californians have the chance to vote on 11 propositions. One in particular is inciting a lot of debate.
Proposition 34 will repeal the death penalty and make the ultimate punishment life in prison without possibility of parole. It will be effective immediately for all inmates.
USC Clinical Law Professor Michael Brennan worked as a criminal defense lawyer and said that the chance of charging the wrong person is too high to risk it.
"Some people who have been executed were probably innocent," he said. "Unfortunately it's the type of penalty that just can't be reversed."
However, he explained money is a big factor as well. He said it is more expensive to charge, convict and execute someone than it is to give them a life sentence.
Michele Hinisee, the special operations assistant at the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, promotes the DA's opposition to Prop 34.
"It's difficult to estimate true costs, and it does cost more," she explained. "But not nearly as much as the proposition 34 supporters would have you believe".
According to a USC Dornsife and Los Angeles Times poll, 38 per cent of voters would vote yes on Prop 34, and 51 per cent would vote no. 11 per cent are undecided.
Hinisee said that this makes sense because the state of California has such a high murder rate.
USC student Alli Holt explained why she is against the death penalty. Her uncle murdered her grandpa.
"My dad had just lost his dad, he didn't want to lose his brother no matter how off the deep end he had gone," she said. "Even though that one person did something so horrible, I think that for their family, they shouldn't have to be punished like that too and have to lose a family member like I did."
If Holt and other proponents of Prop 34 have their way, November 6th will bring a reprieve for hundreds of inmates facing prosecution.