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Death penalty still alive

Becky Yeh - California correspondent   (OneNewsNow.com) Monday, November 12, 2012

Despite a move to eliminate capital punishment, a public policy expert asserts that California voters' support for the death penalty continues.

California will keep the death penalty for now, as voters just refused an initiative that would have eliminated capital punishment in The Golden State, instead switching the death penalty sentences of more than 700 inmates to life in prison without parole. Support for Proposition 34 trailed even after 98 percent of votes were counted.

Michael Shires, associate professor of public policy at Pepperdine University, is not surprised.

Shires, Michael (Pepperdine)"Historically, California has been a very pro-death penalty state, and polls in the past that have shown some erosion in those numbers almost always come back to the conclusion that Californians generally support the death penalty, and a majority of Californians," Shires reports.

"This time an economic argument was made by the proponents of Proposition 34 to repeal the death penalty -- but even then, so far it appears that California's history of wanting an alternative to life in prison that's more severe has continued through this election."

The measure never received majority support in polls, even weeks before the election.

Supporters of Prop. 34 argue that doing away with the death penalty would save the state more than $130 million each year.

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