SACRAMENTO, Calif.--()--The No on Proposition 34 Campaign today released a statewide coalition of California’s leading public safety organizations, crime victims’ groups and elected officials who are united against Proposition 34, an ACLU-led attempt to eliminate the Death Penalty on the November ballot. Public safety and crime victims organizations that strongly oppose Proposition 34 include the California District Attorneys Association, California State Sheriffs’ Association, Peace Officers Research Association of California, California Peace Officers Association, California Police Chiefs Association, California Correctional Peace Officers Association, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, Crime Victims United, Crime Victims’ Actions Alliance, Citizens Against Homicide and the League of California Cities. The anti-crime initiative is also opposed by 37 District Attorneys, 18 Sheriffs, 42 state legislators and nationally-recognized crime victims’ advocates Marc Klaas, Collene Campbell, and Kermit Alexander.
“Prop 34 punishes families of those who suffered horrific deaths by condemned killers”
"The Peace Officers Research Association of California represents rank-and-file officers that have dedicated their lives to protecting communities throughout California,” said PORAC President Ron Cottingham. “We know first-hand of the need for strong, sensible laws that prevent violent crime and ensure offenders are brought to justice. Prop 34 would embolden the most vicious criminals and endanger law-abiding citizens as well as sworn peace officers; that is one of the many reasons why law enforcement leaders strongly oppose Prop 34. PORAC and its chapters across California are leading the effort to preserve capital punishment for those instances when the most violent criminals victimize innocent families. Join local rank-and-file peace officers and Stop Prop 34."
California’s death penalty is reserved for the most violent and heinous killers. The death penalty is given to less than 2 percent of all murderers in California. These murders are so shocking that juries of law-abiding citizens unanimously delivered the sentence. Murderers who earned their death sentence include:
- Richard Allen Davis: kidnapped, raped and murdered 12-year-old Polly Klaas.
- Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez: kidnapped, raped, tortured and mutilated 14 people and terrorized 11 more including children and senior citizens.
- Serial Killer Robert Rhoades: child rapist, kidnapped 8-year-old Michael Lyons. Rhoades raped and tortured Michael for 10 hours, stabbing him 70 times before slitting his throat and dumping his body in a river.
- Alexander Hamilton: executed Police Officer Larry Lasater (a Marine combat veteran). Lasater’s wife was seven months pregnant at the time.
- Spencer Brasure: tortured former child actor Anthony Guest for hours, electrocuting him with an electric prod, forcing him to eat glass, shoving a broken beer bottle down his throat, stapling his ears and gluing his eyes shut. He was then driven to Ventura County, doused with gasoline and set on fire.
Before a murderer receives the death penalty, several safeguards are in place to ensure that only the worst of the worst of California’s killers receives this sentence.
- It must be a First Degree Murder;
There must be a special circumstance in the case including such things
- Murder during rape, sodomy or other sexual assault
- Murder of a child during an act of sexual abuse
- Torture murder
- Serial murder
- Murder of a police officer or firefighter
- Murder during a robbery, residential burglary, kidnapping or carjacking
- Murder committed because of the victim’s race, religion or sexual orientation (hate crime)
- Murder of a judge, prosecutor or juror
- Murder by a gang member in furtherance of the gang
“Proposition 34 Takes $100 Million from California’s General Fund,” said former California Department of Finance Director Michael Genest. “Proponents’ claims that the money comes from alleged savings is false. Furthermore, Prop 34 will cost taxpayers millions more annually by guaranteeing murderers lifetime housing and healthcare benefits.”
“Prop 34 punishes families of those who suffered horrific deaths by condemned killers,” added California Police Chiefs Association President Scott Seaman. “That’s why every major California law enforcement organization opposes Prop 34.”
“Prop 34 isn’t about saving money,” said Klaas, whose 12-year old daughter Polly was brutally murdered by serial rapist Richard Allen Davis in 1994. “It's about the ACLU's agenda to weaken public safety laws. They're desperate to convince you that saving murderers from justice is justified.”
Two recent public opinion polls confirm Proposition 34 is trailing poorly among California voters. A Survey USA poll released on September 12th showed Prop 34 losing by a margin of 30% - 46%, while a Pepperdine University/California Business Roundtable survey on September 12th has it trailing 42%-50%.
Former California Governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs for the No on 34 Campaign, and are joined by the following California public safety officials and opinion leaders as Co-Chairs:
Assemblyman Jim Nielsen
Mark Peterson – District Attorney, Contra Costa County
Lisa Green – District Attorney, Kern County
Steve Cooley – District Attorney, Los Angeles County
Paul Zellerbach – District Attorney, Riverside County
Jan Scully – District Attorney, Sacramento County
Mike Ramos – District Attorney, San Bernardino County
Steve Wagstaffe – District Attorney, San Mateo County
Jeff Rosen – District Attorney, Santa Clara County
Carl Adams – District Attorney, Sutter County and President of CDAA
Keith Royal – Sheriff, Nevada County and President of CSSA
Sandra Hutchens – Sheriff, Orange County
Scott Jones – Sheriff, Sacramento County
McGregor Scott – Former United States Attorney
Ron Cottingham – President, Police Officer's Research Association of California
Michael Rushford – President & CEO, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation
Michele Hanisee – Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County
Kent Scheidegger – Legal Director & General Counsel, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation
Anne Marie Schubert – Deputy District Attorney, Sacramento County
Phillip Stirling – Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County
A complete list of the No on Proposition 34 Coalition is available here.