Question of the Week
Time to put an end to the death penalty?
Voters in California are more evenly split today on whether the state should eliminate the death penalty than they have been in recent memory.
Two years ago, about 40 percent of California voters said they favored replacing capital punishment with life in prison without possibility of parole. A new Field poll found that 47 percent of voters today support eliminating the death penalty, though another 48 percent say they would prefer to see the state move more swiftly on executions.
Where do you stand? Tell us by answering our Question of the Week: Is it time for California to put an end to the death penalty?
This likely won’t be the last time readers will be confronted with this question. Two measures seek a spot on the November ballot: One would abolish the death penalty in California (an effort to repeal failed in 2012), the other would hasten executions.
Meanwhile, the California Department of Corrections is moving ahead with proposed reforms to its execution procedures. It’s been 10 years since a federal judge halted executions in California and ordered the state to improve its procedures, which called for injecting condemned prisoners with a lethal combination of drugs. A 2011 attempt to update the three-drug protocol failed; now corrections officials are proposing a single-drug procedure that is still under public review.
What do you think?
Are you one of those California voters whose thoughts on capital punishment has shifted? What made you change your mind? Are you concerned about the cost of housing death-row inmates for decades while they appeal their convictions? Do you object to the death penalty on moral grounds? If you are a voter who changed your mind, what argument persuaded you most?
Or do you favor speeding up executions in California? Do cost concerns or moral issues factor into your position? How so?
Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name and city or community of residence. Provide a daytime phone number. Or, if you prefer, share your views in the comments section that accompanies this article online.
We’ll publish as many responses as possible.