SACRAMENTO (KCBS)— The long-simmering debate over capital punishment in California is about to boil over again. State Senator Loni Hancock wants to get rid of California’s death row. The Democrat from Berkeley would rather lock up the 714 men on it, for life instead. She cites a new study that said capital punishment costs California almost $200 million a year.

“The death penalty in California is an expensive failure. It is not deterring crime; it is not bringing closure to the families. Since 1978 there have only been 13 executions,” said the East Bay lawmaker.

Marc Klass, whose 12-year-old daughter Polly was kidnapped and killed in Petaluma by Richard Allen Davis, 18 years ago said the execution process should be streamlined, not abolished.

“Richard Allen Davis is somewhere, maybe 400 or 450, on a list of 700 guys on death row in a state that has only executed 13 people in the last 30 years. There’s something terribly wrong with this and it can be fixed,” said an exasperated Klass.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

If the legislature approves Hancock’s bill and Governor Brown signs it, voters would still have to approve the measure to end California’s death penalty.

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