Liliana Sergura at The Intercept has posted a must-read article on the two death-penalty propositions Californians will vote on next Tuesday: Prop 62 takes the death penalty off of the table entirely; Prop 66 puts post-sentencing proceedings in death penalty cases on a fast track.
With these two mutually exclusive propositions, the issue of how California deals with its muddled death sentence situation could not be placed before the voters more clearly. The almost 800 convicted murders on California’s death rows will be sleeping uneasily from now until next Wednesday morning.
But, as is virtually always the case with important policy issues, California’s either-or options and the wholly-within-the-box thinking eclipse and, ultimately, obviate discussion of more imaginative solutions to these incredibly difficult moral questions, such as: Who should determine whether or not a convicted murderer pays with his/her life? And how can those decisions be made in a way that filters out bias due to the gender, race, and ethnicity of the murderer?