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Indybay Feature
Mon Dec 19 2005
Death Penalty Moratorium Bill Faces January Vote
Anti-Capital Punishment Movement in California Focuses on AB 1121
On June 14th, 2005, California State Assemblymembers Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood) and Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View) announced that they were introducing the “California Moratorium on Executions Act” (AB 1121). The act, if passed, would suspend all executions in California until January 1, 2009 while the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice conducts a thorough study of the state’s criminal justice procedures. Koretz declared, "For the state of California to continue to execute prisoners, while an official governmental body investigates the findings and allegations of error and justice and unfairness in the criminal justice system, just doesn't make sense." AB1121 will be voted on in January. Letters of support can be sent to Assemblymembers.

Death Penalty Focus says there are many reasons to support a moratorium or "time-out" on executions. Study after study has shown the death penalty to be grossly unfair: 122 people nationwide have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence, some coming within hours of their execution. Race, place, and poverty are currently the determining factors in who lives and who dies when it comes to California's death penalty. There are alternatives to the death penalty: existing law in California provides for life without the possibility of parole, under which no offender has ever been released, except for one man who was determined to be innocent. Several human rights and religious organizations advocate other alternatives that include life sentences combined with restitution to the victim's family and victim/offender reconciliation programs.

Californians for a Moratorium on Executions recommends several ways that people can get involved- from signing an online petition, to getting local organizations to pass moratorium resolutions, to circulating petitions, and more. Read more

List of organizations that have endorsed AB 1121 | Californians for a Moratorium on Executions | ACLU Northern California's Death Penalty Page | California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice
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