Campaign To End California’s Death Penalty Kicks Off in San Jose

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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