On November 6, California voters will consider whether to end the state’s death penalty through Proposition 34. An opinion piece in today’s
Los Angeles Times
argues that voters should support the proposition because of the risk of executing an innocent person, among other reasons. Friday’s exoneration of Damon Thibodeaux, the 300th DNA exoneree and the 18th who served time on death row, has served as reminder that the criminal justice system is capable of making grave errors. Dan Turner writes:
Absurdly, opponents of Proposition 34 claim that it isn’t the death penalty itself that’s the problem in California but the lengthy legal appeals that have prevented the state from executing anyone since 2006. Yet if not for such lengthy appeals, Thibodeaux probably would have been executed by now. He is the 18th death row inmate to be exonerated by DNA evidence, according to the Innocence Project.
Innocence Project’s position statement on the death penalty