LA Times: Stop the Arbitrary Application of Death Penalty

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board urges voters to vote no on prop 66. The editorial looks at the death penalty system in California and finds it unevenly applied and subject to arbitrary application by prosecutors. Prop 66 does nothing to address these serious problems and will exacerbate their effects in a misjudged race for finality.

Death Penalty Arbitrarily Applied

For the death penalty, where a defendant happens to be tried is a significant factor in whether he or she will be sentenced to death. This is because “whether someone faces a death sentence depends significantly on the county in which the crime is committed because county-level prosecutors are the ones who decide whether to put the death penalty in play.” Between 2011 and 2015, more than half of the death sentences in California came from just two counties, which combined represent less than a third of California’s total population. In the editorial’s view, it is “unconscionable that the specifics of a crime are subordinate to a prosecutor’s whim in determining whether a death sentence will be sought.”

Voters should say no to Proposition 66, which affirms the death penalty and would, among other things, speed up the legal appeals process at the possible expense of constitutional protections.

LA Times

Voting yes on prop 66 means this broken system with its “arbitrary application” based on location will continue, and will do so with fewer procedural safeguards to prevent .