Resolution to Replace the Death Penalty With Permanent Imprisonment

Adopted on
Feb 2, 2009

Whereas the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, a bi-partisan panel of criminal justice experts, concluded that the death penalty costs California at least $125 million more annually than would the alternative permanent imprisonment, and that instituting a completely fair and just death penalty system which insures the best possible defense for the accused would more than double the current cost; and

Whereas imposition of the death penalty without the insurance of absolute truth in evidence, without the guarantee of completeness in investigations, and without equal legal representation in defense of the accused is too vulnerable to wrongful convictions, as seen in the 70% of recent convictions in the State of California which have been overturned; and

Whereas it has been obvious for many years and in many jurisdictions that the death penalty is no more of a deterrent on crime than permanent incarceration, and that the killing of the condemned by the state provides no more safety to the public than does permanent incarceration.

Therefore be it resolved that the California Democratic Party supports replacing the death penalty in California with permanent imprisonment; and

Be it further resolved that replacement of the death penalty with permanent incarceration be made a part of the 2010 California Democratic Party Platform by direction of the body of the convention.