California Proposition 66: What does this mean for Death Penalty Procedures?
Alongside Americans voting nationwide for a new President, California Proposition 66, the Death Penalty Procedures Initiative, takes place today on November 8, 2016. It is a ballot for California only as an initiated state statute.
So what is Proposition 66 about?
Proposition 66 is designed to shorten the time that legal challenges to death sentences take to a maximum of five years.
|A “yes” vote supports changing the procedures governing state court appeals and petitions that challenge death penalty convictions and sentences.|
|A “no” vote opposes changing the procedures governing state court appeals and petitions that challenge death penalty convictions and sentences and favors keeping the current system for governing death penalty appeals and petitions.|
California is one of 30 states in America in which the death penalty is legal.
In 1972, the California Supreme Court ruled that the state’s capital punishment system was unconstitutional. However, in 1978, Proposition 7 reinstated the death penalty. Voters rejected an initiative to ban capital punishment, titled Proposition 34, in 2012.
California Proposition 62: What does this mean for Death Penalty Procedures?
California Proposition 62, the Repeal of the Death Penalty Initiative, is on the November 8, 2016, ballot in California as an initiated state statute.
|A “yes” vote supports repealing the death penalty and making life without the possibility of parole the maximum punishment for murder.|
|A “no” vote opposes this measure repealing the death penalty|
Proposition 62 vs. Proposition 66
Proposition 62 and Proposition 66 are not compatible measures. Therefore, if both are approved by a majority of voters, then the one with the most “yes” votes would supersede the other. The table below outlines some of the major differences between the two initiatives:
|Proposition 62||Proposition 66|
|Repeals the death penalty.||Keeps the death penalty in place.|
|Replaces the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole as the maximum punishment for murder.||Changes the death penalty procedures to speed up the appeals process by putting trial courts in charge of initial petitions challenging death penalty convictions, establishing a time frame for death penalty review, and requiring appointed attorneys to work on death penalty cases.|
|Retroactively applies to prisoners already on death row at the time that the measure would take effect.||Stipulates that all effects would occur once Proposition 66 is enacted and authorizes death row inmate transfers among California prisons.|
|Would require prisoners sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole to work and pay restitution to victims’ families. The portion of wages to be provided as restitution would be between 20 to 60 percent.||Would require prisoners on death row to work while in prison and pay restitution to victims’ families. The portion of wages to be provided as restitution would be 70 percent or the restitution fine, whichever is less.|
|Stipulates that any provision found to be invalid will not affect the other provisions of the measure.||Stipulates that other death penalty measures approved would be void in the event that more affirmative votes are given for Proposition 66.|