SAN JOSE (KCBS)— Opponents of the death penalty gathered in San Jose Thursday to kick off a state-wide campaign to replace capital punishment with life without parole.

“The initiative campaign that will replace California’s costly and dysfunctional death penalty has begun,” said Retired Judge LaDoris Cordell, who is now San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The Safe California campaign proposes to not only abolish the death penalty in favor of life without parole, but redirect the savings from closing death row toward solving open rape and murder cases.

“We set aside $30 million for three years to fund law enforcement’s efforts to solve all of these cold cases. That is justice,” Cordell exclaimed.

The campaign is also supported by some family members of murdered law enforcement officers, like John Starbuck who admits it is difficult to turn away from eye-for-an-eye.

“My wife wanted to bury the man under the jail. That’s what she felt. That should not translate into a political decision. That should not translate into the law,” Starbuck said.

The campaign needs to gather 500,000 signatures to qualify for the November 2012 ballot.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (12)
  1. Biker says:

    How about we speed up the death penalty proses?

    1. chrissy says:

      Are you OK with executing an innocent person? Over 100 people nationwide have been let off death row because DNA and testimony has proven their innocence and some innocent people have been executed, like Cameron Todd Willingham. If we speed up the PROCESS (note the spelling) the likelihood of executing an innocent person will increase exponentially.

  2. Sam Mallory says:

    This is stupid. Sorry but the majority voted to reinstate it that is why we have it. Go cry around your cry baby tree.

    1. Krista says:

      The majority voted it in 34 years ago without having any understanding of how expensive and flawed the system is. Now that we have the data, why not let the people have another chance to decide?

  3. Monster says:

    If we end the death penalty we must also delegalize abortion, otherwise it is hypoctritical – guilty live, innocent die.

    1. Monster says:

      typo – it’s hypocritical, not hypoctritical

  4. Harry says:

    There are people out there who are incurably evil and have a lust for violence and cruelty. They have to go away. It is unfair that we have to share the world with proven monsters.

  5. Don't waste money on them says:

    Show them the same mercy that they showed their victims! I don’t want to pay for them for years, waste of money! Line them up, secure them in place and use the same bullet to kill as many as possible. Move the gun and start again! It takes a bit to get the death penalty in the first place.

  6. BOB says:

    W hen will they hurry up and take you OUT??????????
    Everyones tired of your stupid remarks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Cate Bailey says:

    If we converted death penalty sentences to life in prison, we would save 1 billion dollars in the first five years. The death penalty is actually FAR more expensive than sentencing criminals to life because they get special treatment. Death row inmates do not have to work in prison unlike other convicted criminals, they are given single-cell housing, and they are required to have multiple appeals which are all TAXPAYER FUNDED.

    1. lalala says:

      yes, but we will be paying for them until they die. How is that a saving? If someone is actually committed a crime of taking the lives of others, I don’t see the point to let them live and continue to keep them alive. You have mercy for the living, but what about the people that died at the hands of these criminals?

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