May 19, 2016 Press Releases

Campaign Statement re: Second Death Penalty Initiative

by Yes on 62

SAN FRANCISCO – The Justice That Works campaign to replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole issued the following statement on the competing initiative that will make California’s death penalty more complicated and expensive:

The initiative announced today doubles down on a failed death penalty system that has already cost California taxpayers more than $5 billion. It adds new layers of appeals handled by lower level courts, establishes mini-death rows around the state, and costs taxpayers even more than the current expensive system. Voters should not be fooled by this costly, confusing, and poorly-designed measure.

The Justice That Works Initiative is the only real solution for a failed death penalty. It replaces death row with life in prison without the possibility of parole, gives restitution to victims’ families, and saves taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Overview of the Justice That Works Act

What The Justice That Works Act Will Do:

  • Replace our failed death penalty system with life in prison without parole which guarantees the worst criminals will never be released.
  • Require convicted killers to work and pay most of their wages to the victims’ family.
  • Save California $150 million a year by replacing our failed death penalty system with life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Why Ending the Death Penalty is Important:

  • Failed policy: Since 1978, California has spent $5 Billion administering the death penalty and has only executed 13 people, and none in the last decade. This policy has been a massive failure, and it’s time for our state to move on.
  • Cost: The death penalty costs 18 times as much as life without parole. California would save $150 million a year by replacing the death penalty according to the state’s own estimates.
  • Irreversible mistakes happen: Execution is the ultimate, irrevocable punishment: the risk of executing an innocent person can never be eliminated. Since 1973, for example, 156 US prisoners sent to death row have later been exonerated. Others have been executed despite serious doubts about their guilt. At least 4.1% of all defendants sentenced to death in the US in the modern era are innocent, according to study by National Academy of Sciences.
  • Does not deter crime: Countries who execute commonly cite the death penalty as a way to deter people from committing crime. This claim has been repeatedly discredited, and there is no evidence that the death penalty is any more effective in reducing crime than imprisonment.
  • California has the largest death row in the Western Hemisphere with 750 people–that’s one quarter of the total US death row population.
  • Worldwide 140 countries have abandoned the death penalty in law or practice but the U.S. ranks fifth in terms of executions, trailing only China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan.


To learn more, please go to For press inquiries, contact Jacob Hay at (310) 855-2640 or

To use complimentary wire service photographs from the Yes on Prop 62 campaign, please visit this link.