Thursday, April 25, 2013


Don’t anyone hold your breath waiting for the Democrat controlled California legislature to pass any Republican sponsored death penalty legislation.

By Michael Gardner

U-T San Diego
April 23, 2013

SACRAMENTO — La Mesa Sen. Joel Anderson is carrying separate measures to speed up death penalty reviews, including what will likely be a controversial proposal to bring back the gas chamber.

“Removing unnecessary impediments to carrying out the punishment meted out by judges and juries will ensure timely justice,” the Republican said in a statement.

“It is clear that the death penalty needs reforming when condemned inmates are often living longer on death row than their victims did their entire lives,” Anderson added.

The gas chamber provisions tucked into Senate Bill 779 drew a sharp rebuke from the San Diego chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The associate director, Norma Chavez-Peterson, called it “a dangerous and extreme proposal that is out of touch with the values of the people of California.”

She said the trend nationally and worldwide is to eliminate capital punishment, including five states that have passed legislation repealing the death penalty.

“SB 779 is a tone-deaf piece of legislation that needs to be defeated,” Chavez-Peterson said.

However, California voters in November 2012 defeated an ACLU-backed initiative that would have replaced the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. The vote on Proposition 34 was 52 percent to 48 percent.

Anderson did not immediately respond to the ACLU’s critique.

His legislation has been endorsed by the California District Attorneys Association.

Carl Adams, its president and the district attorney of Sutter County, said prosecutors want to “ensure that the promise of swift and certain justice in the form of the death penalty is kept.”

California has not carried out a death penalty for some time. One of the reasons is that it has had trouble complying with restrictions over the use of lethal injections.

In addition to Senate Bill 779, Anderson’s Senate Constitutional Amendment 13 would allow appellate courts to hear death penalty appeals. Currently those cases go straight to the state Supreme Court.

Both measures are scheduled to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee Tuesday.

The constitutional amendment would require a two-thirds vote to send it to the ballot. That will be a challenge for Anderson in a Legislature controlled by Democrats. Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has also shown little inclination to support death penalty legislation over the years.

1 comment:

bob walsh said...

What they should do is bring back hanging. It is cheap, constitutional and the rope is reusable.