Three Ex-Governors Get Behind Measure to End Death Penalty Delays

Gray Davis, Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian sign the petition that may put a pro-death penalty initiative before the California voters in November.

Death Row at San Quentin Prison. Patch file photo.
Death Row at San Quentin Prison. Patch file photo.

Three former governors signed a petition Thursday aimed at putting an initiative before voters in November designed to end lengthy delays in California executions, but a death-penalty opponent called the proposal “deeply flawed.”

Former Govs. Gray Davis, Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian were among those attending a Los Angeles news conference to throw their support behind the proposal, which would shorten the length of the appeals process and require death-row inmates to share cells with other inmates -- a move supporters say would save millions of dollars.

“All three governors believe strongly that there should be a death penalty for the most heinous crimes in this state,” Davis said.

There has not been an execution in California since 2006.

“Families wait too long to finally get to that point where somebody's life is going to be taken for the crimes they have committed,” San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos said.

Former professional football player Kermit Alexander, whose mother, sister and two nephews were killed in a 1984 home-invasion robbery in South Los Angeles, was also among those backing the initiative.

“My family was murdered brutally,” he said, noting that his relatives were killed “in a wrongful death situation because apparently the murderer couldn't read the right address and went to the wrong house.”

“We've been waiting over 30 years for justice,” he said.

Supporters of the initiative must collect more than 800,000 signatures to get the proposal on the ballot.

Matt Cherry, executive director of Death Penalty Focus, said the initiative is misguided.

“This deeply flawed initiative is full of legal and practical problems, and will only increase litigation and costs,” he said. “No matter what anyone might say, California's death penalty has repeatedly proven to be broken beyond repair. Instead of increasing the risk of executing innocent people and adding even more costs, we need to replace the dysfunctional death penalty system with life in prison without the possibility of parole.:

Cherry said support for the death penalty “is at historic lows, and more states are realizing that there are simply too many flaws in the system.”

--City News Service

BLUESGUITAR777 February 14, 2014 at 03:32 PM
Final final comment - (lol) - I also do not need to prove myself to a limey as you clearly have not mastered your 'own language'. Happy Valentine's Day! ;o)
SA February 14, 2014 at 04:17 PM
@Teri Wow “lawful” killing of people … So the person that hacks your family up should be “parler” , able to be heard and then kept alive?
teri b February 14, 2014 at 04:46 PM
Bluesgirl I never implied any of those things. The trouble you're demonstrating now is with reading comprehension? Your assumptions are most revealing. Good luck with those blues, white man. At least you're probably aware of the enormous debt, economic and cultural, that we owe our black brothers and sisters!
Steve Newman February 14, 2014 at 05:44 PM
TeriB- bluesgirl- how childish of you- careful southernbelle will try to make you and bluesguitar777- friends. Worked well with convict Kleiner didn't it.
BLUESGUITAR777 February 14, 2014 at 06:01 PM
@Teri - Gag me... Are you serious?? Our debt to them is well paid. Anyone holding a grudge at this point is a true racist. I'm done here. You have shown yourself to be an immature, lying, uneducated typical liberal idiot. All you're doing at this point is pissing me off... so.... adieu!
ChrisG February 14, 2014 at 06:09 PM
@teri, why do you feel we owe an enormous debt to Americans of African ancestry?
SA February 14, 2014 at 06:12 PM
@CrisG… Great Question …
B-Cat February 14, 2014 at 06:39 PM
A question! If your picked for jury duty in a murder case do the prosecutors and defense attorneys ask you what religion you are for whatever they perceive that might affect the outcome? Do they also ask you if you believe in the death penalty? just curious as we all at one time or another get the call to serve.
Pauly February 14, 2014 at 08:25 PM
TerriB just so you know, I did not vote for this current black president, and I would never vote for any Democrat, black or white, but putting all PC bullcrap aside, our first BLACK president has been a TOTAL DISASTER, so put that in your liberal pipe and smoke it, looney tunes.
Pauly February 14, 2014 at 08:27 PM
And one more thing teri b, I don't owe blacks anything!
Cat Burke February 14, 2014 at 09:50 PM
There is a solid validity to the Death Penalty Sentence... For those most barbarous, most heinous creatures that should never be caged with anything else - ONLY the Death Penalty will suffice, if we are to remain Moral to those locked inside a prison.
Martha L. Bridges February 14, 2014 at 10:07 PM
I am amazed at how much President Obama has accomplished in his time in the White House considering the near total lack of cooperation and outrageous obstructionism he has faced. History will record that he has really been a transformational President. His critics can stack him up against the people who aspire to block his progress for America or to replace him in 2016. You can start the comparison with that huge Bully and scandal ridden crook in New Jersey and go down the list from there. Can you imagine having a baffoon like Chris Christie trying to represent our country abroad in today world? Those of you who criticize Obama are entitled to your opinion, but at least have some respect for the office he holds. __________________________________________________________ As to the death penalty, there is a huge amount of data that shows it is fraught with errors and mistakes. How many innocent people have been put to death after flawed convictions? How many more are sitting someplace on death row waiting for execution, that will be found innocent when it is too late? The death penalty does not decrease crime; it only allows some members of our society to reach back to a time where vengeance fueled more hate and viciousness. Violence begets violence and solves nothing and even while it gains us nothing of value, it is an incredibly expensive legal process. __________________________________________________________ Stop arguing about god or religion or grammar, and think about the subject at hand, we as a country don’t want to be the last advanced nation in the world to give up the savagery and brutality that is associated with a legal system that employs the death penalty.
ChrisG February 14, 2014 at 10:42 PM
@martha, I agree with you on the dangers of state executions. However, where are the liberal progressives? Why are they not protesting the executive power play Obama is foisting upon us? He is vastly overstepping his presidential powers. He cannot change laws enacted by Congress. This is the most slippery of slippery slopes. We are doomed!
ChrisG February 14, 2014 at 10:43 PM
At least republicans are smart enough to bail on republicans when they overstep. Too bad democrats do not think about the future of the country.
Alek J Hidell February 15, 2014 at 08:58 AM
What, are you answering yourself now? You're not even on topic. sounds like Patch snagged another neurotic
LBV Collins February 15, 2014 at 10:21 AM
@ChrisG: "Obama... vastly overstepping his presidential powers. He cannot change laws enacted by Congress. " / I've heard a lot of talk about his use of executive powers lately, though I've not paid much attention. (Been too busy working.) But what laws has he changed? (The only ones I've heard of are easing the Fed's position on marijuana and increasing the minimum wage for federal employees.) / Also, has he actually overstepped his presidential powers? As I understand, every single president has used executive powers, starting with George Washington.
ChrisG February 15, 2014 at 10:41 AM
@lbv, read this, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-obama-overstepping-his-bounds-with-executive-actions/ you cite two actions. Another is his changing of the ACA by not implementing the law. What are the libs going to do when the next republican president is in office and has Obama's EOs to point to as legitimate use?
Martha L. Bridges February 15, 2014 at 10:42 PM
ChrisG, you have jumped into a vague political war instead of staying on topic...and it is very tiresome to say the least. The topic under discussion is the use of the death penalty...and you have taken a quantum leap into condemning the President for doing what all former presidents have done - especially George W. Bush with wide support from Republicans. Give it a rest.
kristin c February 16, 2014 at 02:55 AM
Awe Teri b were you trying to hurt my feelings? Let me pause to get a Kleenex to wipe away a tear. I'm sad that you hate Christians. I'm going to step out on a limb and make the assumption that you are a lesbian. Gays hate Christians the most because the Bible says they don't get into heaven because of their depravity. They are also notorious for taking Bible verses out of context. The Bible says eye for an eye...if I'm illiterate, what does that make you?
kristin c February 16, 2014 at 03:00 AM
Lbv , he delayed obamacare another year and he needed approval from Congress to do that.
kristin c February 16, 2014 at 03:05 AM
Teri b, is your real name Jeff ?
ChrisG February 16, 2014 at 09:28 AM
@martha, pardon me madam, I was responding to a comment you had brought up in an earlier post. I go where the article and comments lead. If you do not like that perhaps you should take better care with your own posts. I do stay on topic.
Steve Newman February 16, 2014 at 04:47 PM
Alek - if you are talking about neurotics being snagged by Patch- let's give a big welcome to Martha. She should go back to Lake Elsinore where she use to hang out and bother people. She is below here pay grade here.
chuck2251 February 16, 2014 at 07:06 PM
Jeff Kleiner February 16, 2014 at 07:57 PM
Yes Kristin, teri b is my real name....LOL
Steve Newman February 17, 2014 at 02:49 AM
Jeff- always knew you were a cross dresser.
SA February 17, 2014 at 12:50 PM
@Martha … Lay off the cool aid … It did not get Jimmy Jones anywhere nor will it for you.
Cat Burke February 22, 2014 at 04:34 PM
The most accurate, recent poll (Angus Reid, April 2013) found 86% death penalty support, with only 9% opposing all execution, the highest and lowest, respectively, that have ever been seen. As a rule Republicans/Conservatives show (more discretion and) higher support, plus 3-9% , within some polls. From 25-40 "actual innocents" have been discovered and released from death row . That is 0.4% of the 8400 sentenced to death in the modern death penalty era, post Gregg v Georgia (1976) - a 99.6% accuracy rate in actual guilty findings, with the 0.4% actual innocents being released upon appeal. But I can see none of you really care... You have your thoughts, mostly about each other and Obama. And your opinions, mostly about what you seem to be wearing or your religious beliefs. For SOME OF US, who are Victims of Murder, this matter of the Death Penalty has everything to do with our entire FUTURES... It is EVERYTHING to us, because the Murderer has taken everything else FROM US... http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/11/few-conservatives-embrace-anti-death.html
ChrisG February 23, 2014 at 09:20 AM
@cat, in your view which is better of the two possible outcomes, death or life without the possibility of parole? Which of those two choices provides more justice for your loss?
southernbelle February 23, 2014 at 02:36 PM
Chris, I'm pretty sure she will tell you there is no justice humanly possible for what happened in her family. @Cat, I remember your tragic story, and as a mother myself, I would want the death penalty unless there was a possibility of the young man being kept for life in a cold cement cell without the luxury of cigarettes, tv, or internet! I'm very very sorry for the nightmare you endured then, and still have to live with every day. I'm interested in hearing your answers to Chris's questions also.


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