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Davis, California

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Letter to the Editor

The inflated budget of the California Department of Corrections is at least indirectly related to the lack of funds available to higher education. The exorbitantly expensive death penalty is one of the reasons why there isn’t more taxpayer money for the University of California. Students and their parents end up paying for higher tuitions because funds are not allocated to the university yet it is to programs such as the death penalty.

By voting YES on Proposition 34 UC students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to replace the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole. The California death penalty has cost more than $4 billion since 1978 and there have been only 13 executions. Just the expense of death row housing is $100,000 more per year per death row inmate than for those serving life sentences.

And just in case you think that the death penalty makes us safer, please know that 46% of murders and 56% of rapes go unsolved each year in California. Wouldn’t it make you feel safer if we spent our hard-earned money on crime detection and prevention as well as on education?

Please register to vote if you are not registered. And when you vote, vote as if your education or job depends upon it, because it just might. Please start by voting YES on Proposition 34.

Carol Crabill
UC Davis Alumna
Business Officer of UC Davis Mathematics


  1. A jury of 12 people and a judge confirmed for each of these inmates that their crimes were so atrocious and they were so dangerous that they not only did not deserve to live, but they were so dangerous that the only safe recourse was the death penalty. Recognizing how dangerous these killers are, the prison houses them one person to a cell and does not provide them with work, leaving them locked in their cells most of the day.

    Prop. 34 wants to ignore all of this and save money by placing these killers in less-restrictive prisons where they share cells with other inmates. They also want to provide them opportunities for work, where they have more freedom, access to other inmates and guards, and more chances to manufacture weapons.

    Prop. 34 will also destroy any incentive for the 34,000 inmates already serving life without parole to kill again. There would be no death penalty under Prop. 34 and they are already serving a life sentence, so why not get a name for yourself killing another inmate or a guard?

    And they refer to Prop. 34 as the SAFE Act!

  2. The 729 on death row murdered at least 1,279 people, with 230 children. 43 were police officers. 211 were raped, 319 were robbed, 66 were killed in execution style, and 47 were tortured. 11 murdered other inmates.

    The arguments in support of Pro. 34, the ballot measure to abolish the death penalty, are exaggerated at best and, in most cases, misleading and false.

    No “savings.” Alleged savings ignore increased life-time medical costs for aging inmates and require decreased security levels and housing 2-3 inmates per cell rather than one. Rather than spending 23 hours/day in their cell, inmates will be required to work. These changes will lead to increased violence for other inmates and guards and prove unworkable for these killers. Also, without the death penalty, the lack of incentive to plead the case to avoid the death penalty will lead to more trial and related costs and appeals.

    No “accountability.” Max earnings for any inmate would amount to $383/year (assuming 100% of earnings went to victims), divided by number of qualifying victims. Hardly accounts for murdering a loved one.

    No “full enforcement” as 729 inmates do not receive penalty given them by jurors. Also, for the 34,000 inmates serving life sentences, there will be NO increased penalty for killing a guard or another inmate. They’re already serving a life sentence.

    Efforts are also being made to get rid of life sentences. (Human Rights Watch, Old Behind Bars, 2012.) This would lead to possible paroles for not only the 729 on death row, but the 34,000 others serving life sentences. On 9/30/12, Brown passed the first step, signing a bill to allow 309 inmates with life sentences for murder to be paroled after serving as little as 15 years. Life without parole is meaningless. Remember Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan. Convicted killers get out and kill again, such as Darryl Thomas Kemp, Kenneth Allen McDuff, and Bennie Demps.

    Arguments of innocence bogus. Can’t identify one innocent person executed in CA. Can’t identify one person on CA’s death row who has exhausted his appeals and has a plausible claim of innocence. See http://cadeathpenalty.webs.com/


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