You’d think Proposition 62, a referendum to abolish California’s death penalty and replace it with life without parole, including for the 749 current occupants of death row, would win easily on Nov. 8.
Democrats dominate this state; their 2016 national platform advocated an end to capital punishment. Former president Jimmy Carter, left-populist icon Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the state’s major labor unions and 38 newspaper editorial boards are urging a “yes” vote.
California’s death row costs millions to maintain but the state has only executed 13 people since restoring capital punishment in 1978, mainly due to lengthy appeals processes, including recent successful challenges to its lethal-injection protocol.
“Replace the Costly, Failed Death Penalty,” read the yellow-and-black “Yes on 62” sign I saw planted in a well-kept Brentwood yard.