Oakland is laying off police officers, L.A. can't afford overtime for homicide investigators, and the state's Victim Compensation Program was cut by $50 million. To close California's $25 billion budget gap, the governor has proposed slashing almost everything, including state workers' pay.
But what's the one government program that so far has been immune from the governor's cuts? The death penalty.
California wastes millions on its dysfunctional death penalty—more than $126 million per year. Plus, we’re poised to spend another $400 million on a new death row facility (since the current one is too rundown to hold the nation's largest death row population). Those costs add up: over the next five years, California will spend $1 billion on the death penalty.
Tell the governor there are better ways to close the budget gap without risking vital social services! The governor has the power to convert all death sentences to permanent imprisonment and save the state $1 billion without releasing a single prisoner. Permanent imprisonment is a safe and cost-effective alternative to the death penalty that provides crime victims with swift and certain justice. It’s time for Californians to demand that we stop wasting millions on executions and Cut This!
Photo Credit: ACLU of Northern California