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An Independent Voice

An Independent Voice

Corrections System, Punishment and the Death Penalty

The 1994 Three Strikes law has proven to reduce repeat offenders by removing them from the public population. Behavior of the repeat offenders has not changed, and for many it will never change. Our crime rate has been reduced by eliminating these individuals from the California population. In 1996, judges were given greater discretion to pursue or minimize the Three Strikes law. I will oppose any legislation that would minimize the Three Strikes law. I will oppose any legislation to reduce sentences of individuals as a result of prison overcrowding. Ultimately our priority should be to protect society from repeat offenders.

Future California correctional facilities should be built with the utmost effective and efficient techniques and technology. Non-violent offenders should be placed in worker programs to offset the cost of incarceration.

Capital punishment, reinstated in 1978, has placed a tremendous financial burden on the State of California. It is estimated that $184 million per year is spent above the cost of life-without-the-possibility-of-parole inmates. Unlike the Three Strikes law, the death penalty has not reduced these capital case crimes. Suitable punishment should include life without the possibility of parole, a punishment for many considered just as harsh.

I will support legislation to change capital punishment to life in prison without the possibility of parole, a savings estimated at $5 billion by 2030. California taxpayers have already been burdened with $4 billion above the cost of life without the possibility of parole since 1978. It is time to reconsider the death penalty in California, and replace it with less costly but equally effective punishment for these individuals.

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