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Prop. 34 puts death penalty on the ballot

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SAN DIEGO — California voters will decide the fate of the death penalty when they cast their votes for Proposition 34 on November 6.

“Yes on 34 is the only way to guarantee we don’t execute innocent people in California,” California Innocence Project Director Justin Brooks said.

“Prop. 34 would take away the death penalty, which means the worst of the worst would not get the ultimate punishment,” San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said.

If passed, Proposition 34 would replace the death penalty with life in prison without the option of parole.

It would also apply to more than 700 inmates in California jails that are currently on death row; about 40 of those people are from San Diego.

Those convicted felons would also be required to work in the prison system and the money their earned would be used to pay their victims or fines they owe.

Supporters of Prop. 34 said the measure would save the state millions of dollars.

“Forty years to execute 13 people, we’ve spent $4 billion so you have to think if we took those $4 billion and put it into law enforcement, would we be safer as citizens,” Brooks said.

Prop. 34 would also set up a $100 million fund for law enforcement to prevent rape and homicide cases.

“We need to mend it, not end it,” Dumanis said. “The ultimate punishment says to the criminal population that we will hold you accountable. If we don’t, it will embolden those people who would kill our police officers, kill our children and rape them.”

Thirty-three states currently have the death penalty.