Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Rolling Wonder

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Rolling Wonder

Article excerpt

A California measure would fight crime-and deficits-by repealing capital punishment.

IN NOVEMBER, Californians will vote on a ballot initiative that would end the death penalty in the state: the Safety, Accountability, and Full Enforcement Act of 2012, known as the SAFE California Act. The backdrop of this vote is California's deep economic crisis and the economic savings to be gained from ending capital punishment. But when the debate is largely concerned that the cost of killing criminals is just too high, where does faith come into the conversation?

If the measure passes, all 725 death penalty sentences in California will be converted to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The supporters of the initiative have one main mantra: "California can't afford the death penalty!" This initiative delivers on savings-around SI billion in the first five years, say sup-porters-due to halting the death penalty's expensive legal processes and increased costs for death row detention.

The initiative also redirects some of those funds, $30 million per year for three years, to counties across the state to help investigate unsolved cases of rape and murder. …

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