Bid to end death penalty headed to the ballot

From SF Chronicle:

For the third time in 40 years, Californians will likely vote in November on the death penalty, a practice that has had at least as much impact on the state’s politics as on its institutions of crime and punishment.

Opponents of capital punishment said Thursday they were submitting 800,000 signatures on petitions for an initiative to close the nation’s largest Death Row, which has 725 condemned prisoners. The measure needs 504,760 valid signatures to make the ballot.

“California voters are ready to replace the death penalty with life in prison with no chance of parole,” declared Jeanne Woodford, who oversaw four executions as warden of San Quentin State Prison. She now heads the anti-capital-punishment group Death Penalty Focus.

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