This weekend I got to vote against the death penalty. Prop 34 was one of the big reasons I drove an hour to Norwalk to exercise a civic duty early, since California’s choice for president is not going to be swayed by me.
But on the death penalty, every vote can make a difference.
The proposal itself, offering to replace capital punishment with life without parole, is a moment to celebrate. It is a chance to consider what to do about a 35-year-old penalty that is both brutal and wasteful, senseless and, far too often, error-ridden. Oddly, I haven’t heard anyone talking about it.
Have we lost interest in this issue as a society? For decades we have debated the moral dilemma posed by the death penalty in newspapers, on talk shows, on television cop dramas and movies from “Dead Man Walking” to "Conviction" to “The Green Mile....