The death penalty in California is a dysfunctional failure that risks killing innocent people and costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. SB 490 will give voters the option to replace the death penalty with life without parole, saving Californians $1 billion over five years.
The death penalty costs $184 million each year in California, according to a new report by a federal judge and a law professor. A single execution costs $308 million above the cost of life without parole. Meanwhile education, health care, and law enforcement are drastically underfunded.
Life without parole is a better alternative that saves funds to keep our communities safe, provides swift and certain justice for victim's family members, and does not run the risk of killing an innocent person. We can save $1 billion over the next five years without releasing a single prisoner. Support SB 490 for real justice and public safety.
California's death penalty wastes hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, as demonstrated in the new study by Ninth Circuit Judge Arthur Alarcon and Professor Paula Mitchell. Replacing the death penalty will save $1 billion over five years without releasing a single prisoner, allowing California to prioritize law enforcement, public safety, and education.
The death penalty cannot be fixed. It must be replaced with the effective alternative punishment of life without the possibility of parole, and with programs that actually make our communities safer. California must prioritize community safety and cut wasteful programs. For these reasons, I urge you to support SB 490.