The Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation petitioned the 3rd District Court of Appeals today to remove from the November ballot a proposal to abolish the death penalty in California, arguing it violates the state's "single-subject rule" for initiatives.
The foundation said abolishing the death penalty while also authorizing the distribution of $100 million to local law enforcement agencies to help solve murder and rape cases violates a requirement that ballot measures address only one subject.
"This kind of manipulation, forcing the people to vote on two different measures as an all-or-nothing choice, is exactly what the single-subject rule was put in the Constitution to prevent," the foundation's Kent Scheidegger said in a prepared statement.
Supporters of abolishing the death penalty said the litigation is baseless. Former San Quentin Warden Jeanne Woodford said in a prepared statement that the ballot measure is "about one thing and one thing only: ensuring that those who commit the most serious crimes in our state are caught and held accountable. Every aspect of the initiative is connected to that goal."