The person who killed my twin sons likely still walks the street today. Like the death of my sons, a shocking 46% of murders in California each year go unsolved, along with 56% of reported rapes. In this time of economic crisis, budgets for local law enforcement have been slashed repeatedly. Instead of hiring more officers to investigate open homicide cases, we are forced to lay off the very people who could catch these killers. Instead of testing each rape kit, they languish on shelves while the perpetrator remains free to attack another person.
While these criminals are still walking our streets, California continues to waste precious money on a broken death penalty system. Every year, California throws away $184 million dollars on 714 people that are already locked up behind bars instead of investing money in public safety programs that work. Since 1978 when the death penalty was reinstated, we have spent over 4 billion taxpayer dollars for 13 executions. For the cost of one execution, we could be employing nearly 6,000 police officers to patrol our streets, solve more serious crimes, and bring justice to more families.
The death penalty is a broken promise. It does not make our streets safer and it takes away resources from things that prevent violence, like keeping our kids in school and putting cops on the street. It also denies justice for thousands of grieving mothers who, like me, will never see their children’s murderer be held accountable for their crimes.
This is why I support the SAFE California Act (Savings, Accountability and Full Enforcement for California Act). SAFE California is a ballot initiative that will replace the death penalty with life without possibility of parole. By replacing the death penalty with life without possibility of parole, California will save an estimated $1 billion over the next five years. In addition, it will allocate $100 million to local law enforcement to investigate unsolved murders and rapes.
A sentence of life without the possibility of parole offers swift and certain justice. It also means that inmates will work in prison and pay money into the victim compensation fund as restitution. This money can help families of murder victims receive badly needed counseling services and pay for burial expenses. ...