Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

November 6, 2012
Jerry Brown votes for measure to repeal death penalty

Jerry Brown.JPGOAKLAND - Gov. Jerry Brown this morning said he voted for a ballot initiative to repeal the death penalty, after declining during the campaign to say how he would vote on the measure.

The Democratic governor had maintained a careful distance from Proposition 34. Despite his longstanding moral reservations about capital punishment, Brown enforced the death penalty as state attorney general and promised during his gubernatorial campaign in 2010 to uphold the law if elected.

Brown's vote was as expected. He was 21 when he persuaded his father, then-Gov. Pat Brown, to grant convicted rapist Caryl Chessman a temporary stay of execution. Later, as governor from 1975 to 1983, Jerry Brown vetoed death penalty legislation, though his veto was overridden by the Legislature.

Near his home in the Oakland hills this morning, the governor was asked about Proposition 34 outside the fire station where he cast his ballot.

"I voted 'Yes,'" he said. "Of course."

PHOTO CAPTION: A Dalmatian dog watches as California Gov. Jerry Brown, left, votes Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, at a fire station in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

August 10, 2012
Judge upholds rulings in CA death penalty ballot wording

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy M. Frawley today affirmed two tentative decisions he issued on the death penalty ballot measure. One maintains the wording on the initiative's ballot label and title and summary. The other orders a slight change in the ballot arguments.

The judge reaffirmed his position in the tentative decision that there was nothing misleading in the state attorney general's wording on the ballot label and in the title and summary of Proposition 34.

The Nov. 6 ballot measure would repeal the death penalty in California. The challenge to the wording was presented by the state prosecutors' association as well as district attorneys Jan Scully of Sacramento, Steve Cooley of Los Angeles and Elizabeth Egan of Fresno.

In a second petition filed by prosecutors and statewide police management and rank-and-file groups, Frawley ordered that the death penalty opponents who qualified the measure for the ballot cannot say in their arguments that the initiative "redirects" $100 million in general fund money to front-line law enforcement from savings generated by the elimination of capital punishment.

Frawley said the $100 million appropriation would be "unrelated to ... any savings achieved by Propostion 34." He ordered the Secretary of State's Office to change the wording from "redirects" to "directs." Deputy Attorney General Ryan Marcroft said he would have no problem with the change.


Capitol Alert Staff

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee.

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert.

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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