Ad campaign to abolish California’s death penalty launched
Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – The $2 million radio and television ad campaign, that aims to remove death penalty in California and instead push for a life sentence without parole, has began Monday, showing capital punishment as a worthless procedure that costs taxpayers and protects criminals.
The Proposition 34 campaign or the SAFE California initiative said that the advertisements will be aired in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Polls reveal the action has been struggling but gaining ground.
Actor Edward James Olmost asked in a radio spot, “do you know we have the death penalty in California? You might not, because we almost never use it.”
Pro 34 reported that the 724 people on death row should be sentenced to life in prison without parole. The ads stressed that only 13 inmates have been executed since 1978. The group suggested that the money should be diverted to education and crime fighting purposes.
California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office announced that the state could save as much as $130 million a year if the death penalty is abolished.
Olmos pointed out that “death row inmates get special legal teams that work for them, but they don’t work or pay one cent to the victim’s families, like other inmates do. They just sit in private cells, watching TV.”
The television ad centered on Francisco Carrillo, who served 20 years in prison for a murder he said he did not commit. He was set free last year after a judge overturned his conviction.
Pro 34 proposed that the inmates be merged into the general prison population in double cells and should work and pay into victim restitution funds.
Those who oppose the measure said that the people on death row deserve their sentence because of their crimes, adding that the death penalty system needed reform, not termination.
Opponents said that the added costs of death sentence appeals have been initiated to delay punishment. They also claimed that housing death row inmates are not more expensive than regular inmates.
Court rulings have prevented any executions for six years.