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Efforts Underway for Ballot Measure to End Death Penalty

Aired 10/25/11 on KPBS News.

Signature-gathering efforts are getting underway in California for a ballot measure that would end the death penalty.

Signature-gathering efforts are getting underway in California for a ballot measure that would end the death penalty. Supporters of the “Savings, Accountability and Full Enforcement for California Act” want to place the measure on the November, 2012 ballot. Campaign Manager Natasha Minsker said the initiative would replace death sentences with life in prison without parole.

“Murder victim family members are part of this campaign and that includes murder victim family members, where the perpetrator, the killer of their loved one is on death row in California and what they say first hand is that California’s death penalty is a cruel and empty promise to victims’ families,” said Minsker.

Minsker also said the initiative would require people convicted of murder to pay restitution to victim families. Supporters must collect more than five hundred-thousand signatures before the end of February to secure a place on the ballot.

Harriet Salerno with the group Crime Victims United opposes the initiative, claiming it’s the death penalty appeals process that should be changed.

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