California voters will decide this fall whether capital punishment should be abolished and replaced with life in prison without possibility of parole.
If passed, the ballot question would make California the 18th state in the nation without a death penalty. During the last five years, four states, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey and Illinois, have replaced the death penalty and Connecticut is waiting on the governor to sign-off on legislation eliminating the death penalty.
According to the Los Angeles Times, growing numbers of conservatives in California have joined the effort to repeal the state's capital punishment law, expressing frustration with its price tag and the rarity of executions. California has executed 13 inmates in 23 years, and prisoners are far more likely to die of old age on death row than by lethal injection.
November's ballot question has the potential to commute the sentences of more than 700 people on death row, the largest death row in America, to life without possibility of parole, a term that would then become the state's most severe form of criminal punishment.
To read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-death-penalty-california-20120424,0,4305928.story