Prop 34 And Prop 36: Opposing Votes In Downtown L.A.
Downtown Los Angeles was filled with “I voted” stickers Tuesday afternoon as City Hall and courthouse workers showed their pride in exercising their civic duties. Proposition 34 to overturn the death penalty and Proposition 36 to reform the three-strikes law elicited some strong opinions from these individuals.
One City Hall worker, Charles, said that he voted in favor of overturning the death penalty for both financial and ethical reasons. Charles declined giving his last name.
According to the L.A. Times, a prisoner sentenced to death row can cost up to 20 times more than a life without parole case.
Although financial burden on the state partially influenced Charles’ decision, he also opposed the death penalty for ethical reasons.
“I don’t think the state should be in the business of dictating whether or not someone’s life should be cut short,” Charles said.
When asked about the Franky Carrillo ad running before Election Day, Charles said it did not influence his decision but reiterated his own opinions about the death penalty.
“If anything, it was just a great illustration of the types of decisions that we cannot take back,” he said.
For the three-strikes law, Charles said it has been highly ineffective since its implementation. He didn’t believe that criminals in prison for relatively low offense crimes should be serving 25 years to life.
He would like to see the law revised so that it is more effective in dealing with truly violent offenders.
Attorney Tim Thompson disagreed with Charles on both the death penalty and the three-strikes law.
Thompson said he is completely in favor of the death penalty. He said the problem was not the death penalty, but the current system of death row inmates staying there for years. He agreed that this is a financial problem for the state, but still supported the law.
“Once they go through the appeal process, I’m totally for it,” Thompson said.
He also favored keeping the three-strikes law because he agreed with the concept behind it.
“Once it happens three times, they’re considered habitual and they should deserve the extra penalty,” he said.
He admitted that the law is not perfect and could use some tweaking and reforming.
Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage on the 2012 election here.
Reach Staff Reporter Anna Catherine Brigida here.