Ethan Explains California Proposition 66
This is the last of the California statewide ballot initiatives in 2016 that I’ll cover. Proposition 66 is the “Death Penalty Procedures Initiative” Also known as the “Death Penalty Reform and Savings” Initiative.” This is the second initiative on the ballot to address the death penalty this year. The other is Prop 62.
The death penalty is having trouble in California because of the massive and lengthy appeals process. When talking about the ultimate penalty, death, we as a society do need to be careful.
However, endless delays, limited attorneys, and the only court that can hear habeas corpus in death penalty is the California Supreme Court.
So, Proposition 66 aims to address those issues by letting lower courts hear the appeals, which will then work their way up through the system like any other crime. Further, it caps the appeals length to 5 years. But, this Proposition also throws in a work requirement.
I like portions of this initiative, like opening up the courts and attorneys that can address these cases. I am uncomfortable with a constitutional work requirement to repay victims. I support the idea of prisoners working to pay off their debts: court ordered yes, prison system ordered yes, constitutionally ordered no.
Further, I think the five year cap is actually too short. Seven or ten years seems like a much more reasonable cap, five is simply too short to accomplish everything required in a capital punishment case.
I still support having the death penalty available, plus a reasonable process to ensure proper justice. But like so many other propositions, this one is trying to address too many things at once, some of which I disagree.
I say NO to Proposition 66.
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