Big bucks boost death penalty battle
December 1, 2011
A $1.2 million jump in recent contributions is being reported by a group hoping to repeal California’s death penalty.
Taxpayers for Justice plans to gather 504,760 signatures by March from registered voters to qualify the question for the 2012 ballot. The group describes itself as “a coalition of law enforcement professionals, crime victim advocates, and individuals exonerated from wrongful conviction.”
Major donors listed in the report include several California branches of the American Civil Liberties Union at $41,770, Google executive Robert Alan Eustace at $125,000, Hyatt Development Corporation CEO Nicholas Pritzker at $500,000, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings at $125,000.
CalCoastNews reported in August that since California reinstated the death penalty in 1978, state taxpayers have spent more than $4 billion on capital punishment. The state has carried out 13 executions since then, or about $308 million each.
A comprehensive analysis of the death penalty’s costs to taxpayers conducted by a federal judge and a law professor over a three-year period found that the state spends $184 million annually on the condemned.
There are 714 death row prisoners in California.