Death penalty repeal pits Mayor Villaraigosa vs. former Gov. Wilson
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa goes up against former Gov. Pete Wilson in a debate over the death penalty that will be coming soon to mailboxes throughout California.
Villaraigosa signed the ballot argument to be included in the official state voter guide on Proposition 34, which would repeal the state’s death penalty if approved on the November ballot. Wilson signed the "no" argument.
"Proposition 34 lets serial killers, cop killers, child killers and those who kill the elderly, escape justice," says the argument against the measure, also signed by Keith Royal, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Assn., and Marc Klaas, who became an advocate for crime victims after his 12-year-old daughter, Polly, was murdered.
The argument endorsed by Villaraigosa, on the other hand, said the ballot measure will save "millions every year" and said more than 100 innocent people have been sentenced to death in the U.S., including some who have been executed.
"We’ll never execute an innocent person with Proposition 34," says the argument that is also signed by former state Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp and retired Superior Court Judge LaDoris Cordell.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, in a file photo, has signed the ballot argument in favor of a measure that would repeal the death penalty in California. Credit: Michael Nelson / EPA