On this year’s ballot in California, there are two big ideas about the death penalty. One proposition calls for a reform while the other ends it for good. Although both propositions revolve around the topic of the death penalty, Proposition 62 and 66 are widely different.
Though the death penalty was most recently reinstated in 1978, the Los Angeles Times reports that “Court rulings have prevented the state from executing anyone since 2006.” The idea to ban the practice was on the ballot in 2012, but was rejected by voters. Now, Californians have another opportunity to change.
Yes on Proposition 62:
Voting yes would mean that the proposition passes and would repeal the death penalty for a maximum life sentence without parole. Supporters for the “Yes on 62” campaign such as the California Democratic Party and the Libertarian Party of California have made the following arguments:
This proposition would save taxpayer money by replacing a costly, inefficient system of death penalty.
The proposition would also completely rid of the idea that innocent people would be executed under the law. However, innocent or not, these people will not be released under any circumstances.
Proposition 62 will also eliminate the racial inequality present in criminal court systems, such the bias in sentencing for death penalty.
Yes on Proposition 66:
Voting yes would mean that the proposition passes and would shorten the time to five years at a maximum to challenge the legality of a particular death penalty sentence. Supporters for the “Yes on 66” campaign such as the California Republican Party have offered the following arguments:
The proposition would speed up the death penalty appeals process but would also ensure that no innocent person would be executed. A difference from Proposition 66 has in comparison to 62 is that Proposition 66 offers no statement regarding whether they will be released if found innocent.
Inmates on death row would have to work and pay restitution, a compensation due to loss, to the victims’ families.
This proposition also states that while the death penalty will not be abolished, the criminals who have committed the worst of crimes shall be put on the highest degree of punishment under the law.
Note that since not both propositions can be taken in effect, the proposition receiving more affirmative votes will replace the other proposition with lesser affirmative votes. As of right now, however, it looks like such action will not take place, for recent polls from October 2016 say both propositions have garnered more opposition than support.
Regardless, by voting yes on 66 and no on 62 or yes on 62 and no on 66, a big change can be made.