Help Make The World A Better Place

If you want to help a bit, please write to your state legislator and urge that s/he support the passage of SB1331, “The Racial Justice Act”. The next best thing to doing away with the death penalty would be to apply it without bias. For those of you with teabagger leanings, please understand that it costs far more to make all the required legal appeals in a death penalty case than it does to feed and house the condemned individual for life.

If you aren’t sure who your legislators are, you can identify them by clicking here and entering your address.

This is from one mailing on the subject:

“Research shows that the death penalty is not applied fairly in California. A defendant is three or four times more likely to be sentenced to die in cases where the victim is white than in cases where the victim is African American or Latino. Meanwhile, murder cases in which the victim is African American or Latino often remain unsolved. African Americans have long been over-represented on death row. In recent years Latinos have increasingly been sentenced to death. One California prosecutor testified that it was standard policy in his office to exclude African American women from juries in death penalty cases.

“If California is going to continue to have a death penalty, then it must be applied fairly without regard to the race or ethnicity of the defendant, the victim or the jurors.

“The California Racial Justice Act (RJA) would ensure that no one is sentenced to die in California because of race or ethnicity. The RJA would create a procedure for the court to decide whether race was a significant factor in the decision to seek or impose the death penalty in a particular case. The RJA would permit the defendant to file a motion and present evidence supporting his or her claim and would allow the State to present evidence in response. If the judge decides that race was a significant factor in the decision to seek the death penalty, the State would not be allowed to seek the death penalty in that case but could pursue a sentence of permanent imprisonment.

“Two states, Kentucky and North Carolina, have already implemented Racial Justice Acts. California must also enact a Racial Justice Act to ensure that, if the state continues to pursue the death penalty, that it is implemented fairly and consistently, regardless of the race or ethnicity of the individuals involved.”

Leave a Reply