Seeking an End to an Execution Law They Once Championed
The year was 1978, and the California ballot bristled with initiatives for everything from banning gay teachers to cracking down on indoor smoking. Both lost. But one, Proposition 7, sailed through: expanding the state’s death penalty law to make it among the toughest and most far-reaching in the country.
The campaign was run by Ron Briggs, today a farmer and Republican member of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors. It was championed by his father, John V. Briggs, a state senator. And it was written by Donald J. Heller, a former prosecutor in the New York district attorney’s office who had moved to Sacramento.
Thirty-four years later, another initiative is going on the California ballot, this time to repeal the death penalty and replace it with mandatory life without parole. And two of its biggest advocates are Ron Briggs and Mr. Heller, who are trying to reverse what they have come to view as one of the biggest mistakes of their lives.
Partly, they changed their minds for moral reasons. But they also have a political argument to make.
1. Damn the death penalty....doesn't deter anything.....statistics proove that
I'm sick of religious nuts.....yes I'm sure the death penalty supporters are almost all christian or taliban.....or like Santorum....both. Post the 10 commandments on the door to the death chamber, just cross out the ones you are going to break.....I want to see a picture of that on the news