POLL SHOWS CHANGE LIKELY FOR CA "THREE STRIKES" LAW; VOTERS SPLIT ON DEATH PENALTY

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2 out of 3 voters would limit life sentences to “serious or violent” third-strike offenders.

October 8, 2012 (Los Angeles) — California voters are overwhelmingly in favor of revising the state’s “three-strikes” law, according to the latest results from the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll.

Two-thirds of voters, including 67 percent of voters who vote on ballot initiatives, said they support Proposition 36, which would change the “three-strikes” law in California so that 25 year to life sentences are imposed only when the third felony is “serious or violent.” Twenty percent of voters oppose Prop. 36.

Men were more likely than women to oppose revising “three-strikes,” with 24 percent of men opposed to Prop. 36, and 65 percent supporting the measure. Among women, 15 percent oppose the measure, and 69 percent support it. Across party lines, a majority of voters were in favor of revising “three-strikes” in California: Prop. 36 is favored 70-18 among Democratic voters; 55-27 among Republican voters; and 70-16 among voters with no party preference.

"The ongoing debate over prison overcrowding appears to have impacted public opinion on this issue," said Dan Schnur, Director of the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll and Director of the Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. "Californians are looking for ways to  save money and imposing shorter sentences on non-violent offenders appears to be a reasonable way to reduce prison costs. The challenge for the initiative's opponents is to convince voters that prisoners who have previously committed violent crimes are still dangerous, but that looks like an uphill fight at this point."

A video of Schnur and Los Angeles Times reporters Maura Dolan and Jack Leonard discussing Prop. 34 and Prop. 36 is at http://youtu.be/F9V6x6VqeKU.

California voters were equally in favor of revising “three-strikes” whether or not they were read a statement explaining the fiscal impact and estimated $70 million in state saving related to prison and parole operations: 66 percent of who were read a fiscal impact statement were in favor of Prop. 36, and 20 percent oppose it.

Latino voters were less likely than voters overall – and nearly ten percentage points less likely than White voters — to support Prop. 36, with 59 percent of Latino voters in favor of revising three-strikes and 27 percent opposed. Among White voters, 69 percent support the measure and 18 percent oppose it. Among Black voters, 73 percent favor revising “three-strikes” and 18 percent oppose it.

PROP. 34: DEATH PENALTY

Voters were much more split on the other criminal justice initiative on the November ballot, Prop. 34, which would repeal the death penalty in California and replace it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The measure would apply retroactively to people already on death row.

"Opinions on the death penalty are fairly locked in,” said Dave Kanevsky, Research Director of Republican polling firm American Viewpoint, which conducted the poll on behalf of USC and the Los Angeles Times with Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. “If this initiative is tied, it’s likely to lose as undecideds generally break to the “No” side and the fiscal argument does not move Republicans on the death penalty, as it moves voters on other initiatives.”

When read a brief statement about the proposition, 51 percent of voters oppose banning the death penalty and 38 percent support it.

But the actual ballot wording of Prop. 34 narrowed the gap between the positions: When read the ballot language, 45 percent of voters oppose repealing the death penalty and 43 percent support it. The ballot language explains that people found guilty of murder must work while in prison, “with their wages applied to victim restitution fines.”

Voter opinion on Prop. 34 was virtually unchanged when voters were read a further statement explaining the fiscal impact related to trials and appeals that costs the state about $100 million annually. With a statement explaining the fiscal impact of repealing the death penalty, 44 percent of voters support Prop. 34, and 46 percent oppose it.

“We may have reached a limit on the fiscal argument for the death penalty,” said Stan Greenberg, CEO of Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. “We’re moving toward a values argument and making people work and make further restitution to the victim's family.”

The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll was conducted from Sept. 17-23, 2012, by Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Republican polling firm American Viewpoint. The full sample of 1,504 registered voters has a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

 

Comments

Prop. 34 has Horrible Repurcussions for CA

Those on death row murdered at least 1,279 people, including 230 children & 43 police officers.  211 were raped, 319 robbed, 66 killed by execution, & 47 tortured.  11 murdered other inmates.

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! 

Death Penalty: Prop. 34- Voters Strongly Oppose

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 11, 2012 - With 26 days until the November election, two newly-released polls confirm that the ACLU-sponsored Proposition 34 to abolish the death penalty remains very unpopular with California voters.    The Pepperdine University/California Business Roundtable Survey  released this morning shows Prop 34 trailing 42 to 49 percent. Yesterday, a new KPIX/CBS-5 San Francisco poll with Survey USA showed a larger gap with Prop 34 losing 32 to 48 percent.”These two polls confirm that California voters support the death penalty, and do not want to weaken public safety laws that keep our streets safe,” said No on Prop 34 spokesman Peter DeMarco. “What’s most telling is that in both surveys, Prop 34 received a higher percentage of ‘NO’ votes than every other ballot initiative. Voters simply don’t believe the misleading claims about Prop 34.Every major public safety organization and crime victims’ group opposes Prop 34 because it will let more than 700 cop killers, serial killers, child killers and those who kill the elderly escape justice.  These are the worst of the worst, who have rightfully earned a death sentence for their unspeakable crimes.  http://voteno34.org/two-newly-released-polls-confirm-prop-34-losing-badly/

Proposition 34: Death Penalty

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/