The Political Science Club Hosts
The Sierra College Political Science Club will host a forum on the Death Penalty Wednesday, April 11 from 12:30 - 2PM at the Rocklin Campus, Dietrich Theatre. Guest speakers will discuss an initiative that is expected to be placed on the ballot for November to repeal the death penalty. The distinguished panel includes:
Michael is a Distinguished Professor and Scholar. A nationally-recognized expert on criminal law, Professor Vitiello's many articles appear in leading journals, and his work is widely cited by scholars around the country. He is particularly well-known for his expertise on matters involving sentencing reform, and his analysis of the legal issues that would arise from the legalization of marijuana.
Ellen is an attorney with the Office of the State Public Defender in Sacramento. She has been representing death row inmates in their direct appeals to the California Supreme Court since 1990. Before that she was counsel to Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union at their headquarters in Keene, California. Ellen was one of the founding members of the Sacramento Chapter of Death Penalty Focus, is an experienced community organizer and frequently speaks publicly against the death penalty. She has two grown children Tomas and Teresa.
At 16, Franky was wrongfully convicted of a 1991 murder based solely on identification testimony from six people. All six eventually admitted that they were unable to see the shooter, and were influenced to make their identifications of Franky by the police and by each other. Two other men have since confessed to the shooting and said that Franky was not involved.
Though innocence issues were raised early in his trial, and again during Franky’s failed appeals, it required the dedication and hard work of many lawyers and supporters, led by State Public Defender and Death Penalty Focus Board member Ellen Eggers, to finally win his release. In March 2011, the Los Angeles County Superior Court reversed Franky Carrillo Jr.’s 1992 conviction for murder, and ordered his release after two decades behind bars. Franky now works as a Justice Advocate with DPF to tell his story and educate the public about the real danger of incarcerating and even executing the innocent.
A California End the Death Penalty Act (11-0035) was approved for circulation in California as an initiated state statute. Supporters of the initiative submitted over 800,000 signatures to qualify the measure for the state’s November 6, 2012 ballot on March 1, 2012.
If the state's voters approve it, the initiative will end the death penalty in California.
California has 714 people on death row. Seven of them have exhausted all appeals and are therefore eligible for execution; although legal challenges to California's lethal injection procedure must be resolved before any of them could be executed. The last execution in California took place in 2006.
Ballot title: Death Penalty Repeal - Initiative Statute
"Repeals death penalty as maximum punishment for persons found guilty of murder and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Applies retroactively to persons already sentenced to death. Requires persons found guilty of murder to work while in prison, with their wages to be applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them. Creates $100 million fund to be distributed to law enforcement agencies to help solve more homicide and rape cases."
Summary of estimated fiscal impact:
(This is a summary of the initiative's estimated "fiscal impact on state and local government" prepared by the California Legislative Analyst's Office and the Director of Finance.)
"Net savings to the state and counties that could amount to the high tens of millions of dollars annually on a statewide basis due to the elimination of the death penalty. One-time state costs totaling $100 million from 2012-13 through 2015-16 to provide funding to local law enforcement agencies."
For more information about the Political Science Club, or this forum, contact Professor Winsome Jackson at: (916) 660-8058 or firstname.lastname@example.org.