Vote No on Prop 34News | Vote No on Prop 34 Protect California | Preserve California's Death Penalty Thu, 08 Nov 2012 16:35:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Vote No on Prop 34 “JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES” Thu, 08 Nov 2012 16:35:40 +0000 VoteNO34 CALIFORNIA’S PROSECUTORS, LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS AND CRIME VICTIMS’ ADVOCATES CALL PROP 34 DEFEAT


Coalition Promises to Fix Death Penalty Process in Future Ballot Initiative
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 7, 2012  - Following the announcement that Proposition 34 was defeated47.3 percent to 52.7 percent, the No on Prop 34 campaign issued the following statement: 

“On behalf of the families of crime victims everywhere, we thank the voters  of California for rejecting Prop 34 and standing up for those who no longer have a voice,” said McGregor Scott, former United States Attorney and Co-Chair for No on Prop 34. “Even though the ACLU and other out-of-state special interests outspent us by a 25-1 margin, justice prevailed. They spent millions trying to deceive voters with unsubstantiated claims and were soundly rejected. The people of California sent a clear message that the death penalty should still be implemented for those who commit the most heinous and unthinkable crimes.  This victory would not have been possible without the generous support of the Peace Officers Research Association of California and other law enforcement organizations, and we thank them for standing with us to defeat 34.”


“There are fourteen convicted murderers on death row who have exhausted all of their appeals after being found guilty of their horrific crimes,” added Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully, also a No on 34 Co-Chair. “On behalf of California’s district attorneys, sheriffs, police chiefs, over 100,000 rank-and-file police officers and the families of crime victims everywhere, we call on Governor Brown and Attorney General Harris to uphold the will of the people.  They must work with the California Supreme Court to implement changes that will expedite the death penalty in a timely manner. Those include adopting an improved execution method already used in multiple other states.  The Governor and Attorney General promised voters two years ago that they would uphold the death penalty. They need to keep that promise; there is no longer any reason to delay the execution of these fourteen vicious and violent murderers.”


“Now that the people have re-affirmed their support for the death penalty, we are committed to coming back to the voters with a reform proposition to streamline and expedite the death penalty in California,” Scott added. “The problems with delay and expense of California’s death penalty are entirely fixable. Other states have corrected the same problems, and it is now time for California to do the same. If the Legislature continues to abandon its responsibility by refusing to implement common-sense reforms then we will put our full support behind a ballot initiative to get the job done in 2014.”


Paid for by Californians for Justice & Public Safety, No on Proposition 34, Major funding by

Peace Officers Research Association of California Issues Committee.

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The Truth About Prop 34 Tue, 06 Nov 2012 00:28:17 +0000 VoteNO34

The Truth About Prop 34 from Vote No on Prop 34 on Vimeo .

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Marc Klaas for NO on Prop 34 Mon, 05 Nov 2012 16:31:23 +0000 VoteNO34

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The Case Against Prop 34 – Through the Eyes of Victims’ Families (VIDEO) Sun, 04 Nov 2012 21:27:36 +0000 VoteNO34

The Case Against Prop 34 – Through the Eyes of Victims’ Families from Vote No on Prop 34 on Vimeo .

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Marcos Breton: Death penalty a necessary tool to rid us of monsters Sun, 04 Nov 2012 16:42:32 +0000 VoteNO34 There is no feeling good about advocating for the death penalty.

It’s not cool or compassionate. It’s not politically correct in California, where law and order arguments often ascribed to Republicans sound like loser arguments because Republicans make up less than 30 percent of an all-time high of 18.2 million registered voters.

Arguing for the death penalty flies in the face of reasonable-sounding declarations that a cash-strapped California can save a fortune by repealing a flawed state-sanctioned killing system that isn’t executing anyone anyway. Let’s spare our state bottom line and also spare the guy who kept a sweet boy alive while torturing him for a 10-hour period with the sharp end of a fishing knife – methodically plunging 80 shallow stab wounds into his little body.

I covered that story in 1996, when 8-year-old Michael Lyons of Yuba City was murdered by an already-convicted violent sex offender named Robert Boyd Rhoades.

All these years later and I still can’t get a single image out of my mind: Michael’s little footprints on the interior windshield of Rhoades’ truck. The poor little thing frantically pressed his feet against Rhoades’ windshield as he undoubtedly wailed and begged for his life while that monster did what he did to him and exerted complete power over Michael in the nightmare of his final hours on this earth.

Michael’s blood was found on Rhoades’ knife, which was found in his truck along with Rhoades’ underwear. Michael’s throat was slashed on both sides of his neck. Michael was stabbed on both sides of his abdomen and above his left nipple. He had puncture wounds on his hip and buttocks and eight stab wounds under his chin. He had defensive wounds on his hands, which investigators believe showed that he was trying to stop Rhoades as Rhoades tortured him.

An autopsy showed Michael had internal injuries from a sexual assault that DNA evidence showed had been committed by Rhoades. Investigators believe Rhoades twisted the knife in Michael several times to inflict greater pain.

They found Michael lying face up in the brush on the west bank of the Feather River. He was naked from the waist down. His Batman T-shirt was pulled over his face.

When I sat in the pews at Michael’s memorial service, in the back of a church with the other media, I could feel my insides trembling. The facts of the case and my imagination took me to a place where in that moment, in a house of worship, I felt I could hear Michael’s screams in my ears.

If I can still hear those screams 16 years later, and I do, imagine how Michael’s mother feels.

But you know what? The people behind Proposition 34 – who are pushing for a “yes” vote to repeal California’s death penalty – don’t want you to imagine it. They don’t want to come within 10,000 miles of the specifics of cases like Michael’s – the worst of the worst crimes in our state.

Instead, they want to beguile you with sanitized arguments of $100 million cost savings to the state – arguments that prey on our disgust for government waste.

The same lawyers who filed endless legal delays that ran up the tab to execute 13 death row prisoners since 1978 are the same ones who decry the cost.

To be fair, there are some very good people trying to repeal California’s death penalty, including Donald Heller, the exceptional Sacramento lawyer who wrote California’s death penalty statute in the first place. In the twilight of a distinguished career, Heller fears that his work as a young man could cause an innocent man to be put to death.

Modern DNA evidence has revealed the innocence of long-time death row prisoners in other states. How many of the 13 men executed in California have been found innocent by DNA evidence?


Do I believe it anymore when the California legislative analyst or others cite massive cost savings to issues as complex as repealing the death penalty?


Men like Rhoades, “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez and others can’t simply be put in the general prison population. You’re still going to have to segregate them and pay extra for their quarters, whether you call it death row or not. You’re going to have to pay for their health care and other expenses.

The pro-Prop. 34 people sound like those who believe that if we just legalize all drugs, that evil, vicious drug dealers will be neutralized. It’s a pie-in-the-sky argument. Evil lives whether we want to believe it or not.

If we just distill this unseemly business down to cost savings, we will always be the better for it, right?

Consider the victims of offenders currently on California’s death row: 255 children; 43 police officers, 235 people raped and murdered and 90 tortured and murdered.

Fewer than 2 percent of murders in California become death penalty cases. Instead of repealing the death penalty, the worst of the worst criminals in California could be put to death much more quickly and cheaply if the state simply switched to a protocol where one drug is administered by lethal injection. But that change in protocols has been locked up in the courts.

I would never presume to tell you how to vote, but I’m going to vote no on Proposition 34 on Tuesday.

It’s nothing to feel great about. But the death penalty is a needed tool to deal with monsters that don’t deserve our mercy – and who showed none while killing innocent people in the most unspeakable ways.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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Former Gov. Gray Davis Urges A No Vote on Prop 34 Sat, 03 Nov 2012 04:54:41 +0000 VoteNO34

Former Gov. Gray Davis Urges A No Vote on Prop 34 from Vote No on Prop 34 on Vimeo .

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Judicial Watch terms so-called ‘SAFE’ California Act (Prop 34) ‘both disingenuous and deceptive’ Fri, 02 Nov 2012 23:38:29 +0000 VoteNO34 JW terms so-called ‘SAFE’ California Act (Prop 34) ‘both disingenuous and deceptive’

(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch today released  “The End of the Death Penalty Initiative,”  a special report on the administration and impact of California’s death penalty. The report also raises questions about California Proposition 34, also known as the “Savings, Accountability, and Full Enforcement for California (SAFE Act) Initiative,” which is currently on the state’s 2012 ballot.  Currently, more than 700 inmates await execution on California’s death row, all of whom would escape the death penalty should the so-called SAFE Act Initiative be passed.

The most serious problem with the application of the death penalty in California, the JW study finds is not the cost, as opponents claim, but what it terms “the overt abuse” of the writ of  habeas corpus  process, which results in “delays of five to ten years or more.”

Bolstering its argument that California’s death penalty is a deterrent to criminals who might otherwise murder their victims in the commission of a crime, the Judicial Watch report details the cases of 15 convicts who declared that they had spared the lives of their victims solely out of a fear of the death penalty.

“Any law enforcement officer or prosecutor who has worked with the criminal element,” the Judicial Watch report concludes, knows that career criminals have a “jaded value system that does not mind doing time for a crime, but puts the death penalty in a category of punishment that is to be avoided.”

The JW report also provides in graphic detail case summaries of more than a dozen California death row inmates whose death sentences would be commuted should the so-called SAFE Act Initiative be passed, as well as the statements of victims’ next of kin who strongly oppose death-penalty repeal. Included in the report is a lengthy summary of California’s “Night Stalker” serial murderer, whose death sentence would be set aside should the SAFE Initiative become law.

“Reforms to the death penalty,” the Judicial Watch study concludes, “should be limited to speeding up the judicial process and sensible safeguards to protect the innocent.  Retroactive elimination of the death penalty for 700-plus inmates would be affront to the thousands of victims, living and dead, of the heinous murderers currently sitting on death row.”

“The safety of every California resident depends on the existence of the death penalty. You can improve it and have it take less time, but don’t destroy it,” said Sterling “Ernie” Norris, former Los Angeles County Prosecutor and head of Judicial Watch’s West Coast office.

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CALIFORNIA STATE SUPREME COURT FINALIZES LANDMARK RULING ELIMINATING FRIVOLOUS DEATH PENALTY DELAYS, PAVING WAY FOR JUSTICE Fri, 02 Nov 2012 17:37:53 +0000 VoteNO34 CALIFORNIA STATE SUPREME COURT FINALIZES LANDMARK RULING ELIMINATING FRIVOLOUS DEATH PENALTY DELAYS, PAVING WAY FOR JUSTICEBeating Prop 34 and with the approved single drug protocol, California can immediately resume capital punishment for 14 of the most vicious and violent killers
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 2, 2012  - On October 31, the California State Supreme Court finalized their landmark ruling streamlining the death penalty appeals process so that capital punishment can resume.  Additionally, with the adoption of a single drug lethal injection, and a NO vote on Proposition 34, California can move forward and schedule the execution of 14 of the state’s most vicious and violent killers.  California’s death penalty process can provide due process for criminals and justice for victims, according to the NO on 34 coalition, which includes every major public safety organization, crime victims groups and former California Governors Gray Davis (D), Pete Wilson (R) and George Deukmejian (R). 

“The State Supreme Court ruled decisively against deception and delay in the death penalty appeals process, paving the way to justice for the people of California,” Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully said.  “On Election Day, we believe voters will deliver a similar mandate by rejecting Proposition 34.  Californians support the ultimate sentence for the most violent offenders who kill peace officers, rape and murder children or are convicted of serial killings of women.”


The Court ruling refused to reconsider the August 30, 2012 In re Reno decision that limits follow up appeals to 50 pages unless the Chief Justice gives permission for a longer petition on a showing of good cause. The Court strongly condemned making frivolous arguments and gave notice it will impose sanctions on lawyers who make them. The petition must justify any untimely or repetitive claim from the beginning, not waiting until later in the process.


The case stemmed from the conviction and death sentence of Harold Ray Memro.  Memro has since changed his name to Reno.  In 1976 Reno slit the throats of Scott Fowler (age 12) and Ralph Chavez Jr. (age 10) as they were fishing in Bell Gardens.  Reno was also convicted of strangling and attempting to sodomize seven year-old Carl Carter, Jr. in 1978.  Reno admitted he went to the park where Fowler and Chavez were killed to take pictures of little boys.


What happened next demonstrates how lawyers help criminals escape justice by abusing the appeals process.  The State Supreme Court overturned Reno’s initial conviction, but he was retried in 1987, convicted and sentenced to death.  In 1995 he appealed citing 12 issues, and the State Supreme Court rejected them.  He then appealed in federal court citing 74 issues.  The federal court rejected most of Reno’s claims, sending the remaining issues back to the state court.  Instead, Reno’s lawyers filed a 521-page appeal citing 143 claims.


“The problems with delay and expense in the California death penalty are entirely fixable,” Criminal Justice Legal Foundation Legal Director Kent Scheidegger said.  ”Other states have fixed the same problems, and we have known for years how to fix them here. The Supreme Court’s strong decision demonstrates we can deliver due process and justice.  When voters reject Proposition 34, we can carry out justice in the very worst murder cases.”

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SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 1, 2012  - As California voters decide whether to side with the ACLU and other liberal special interests to get rid of the death penalty, the No on 34 campaign continues its profiles of the “worst of the worst” convicted murderers on death row. These are just some of the killers who would be spared under Proposition 34: 

Kevin Cooper:


In June 1983, Kevin Cooper escaped from a minimum security prison in Chino, CA. After hiding in an empty house, he attacked the Ryen family next door, killing Doug and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter Jessica and 11-year-old family friend Chris Hughes. 8-year-old Joshua Ryen survived.


The victims had died from numerous chopping wounds later determined to have been inflicted by a hatchet or axe and stab wounds inflicted by both a knife and an ice pick. Cooper was arrested on a boat near Santa Barbara two days later. In 1985 he was sentenced to death for the murders.


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3 former California Governors say why they oppose Prop 34 Wed, 31 Oct 2012 00:14:59 +0000 VoteNO34

Three Former California Governors Make Final Push Against Prop 34 from Vote No on Prop 34 on Vimeo .

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