Despite a move to eliminate capital punishment, a public policy
expert asserts that California voters' support for the death
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
Michael Shires, associate professor of public policy at Pepperdine University, is not surprised.
"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
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.