IN THE NEWS: Moving Forward For Victims & Death Penalty Reform

SACRAMENTO - In their continued efforts for justice and victims' rights, a group ofdistrict attorneys in California is exploring a death penalty reform initiative for the November 2016 ballot.

"It's time to fix the death penalty so true justice can be served for the families who lost loved ones at the hands of the worst killer in the state," said San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos. 

Ramos was one of five district attorneys who metwith California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona and CSLEA Chief Counsel Kasey Clark at CSLEA headquarters on August 19, 2015 to discuss renewed death penalty reform efforts.  "We are reaching out to all of our law enforcement partners to help us get the Death Penalty Reform initiative on the ballot," said Ramos.   "We need your help."

As of June 2015, there are 750 inmates on death row who have sexually assaulted, beat, tortured and or killed.  They stopped at nothing, their victims included children (229) andpeace officers (44).

"The death penalty is reserved for the most heinous killers in our society--serial killers, cop killers, child torturers and mass murderers," said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.    "A death penalty sentence is a rare event--it should always be a rare event.  Juries across California have made decisions that in these rare cases, the sentence is appropriate given the horrific and often unspeakable crimes these killers committed. Fixing the death penalty process will not only bring justice to murder victims' families, but will save millions of taxpayer dollars every year."

Ramos and Schubert were joined by District Attorneys Gilbert Otero (Imperial County), Scott Owens (Placer County) and Amanda Hopper (Sutter County) as they discussed future steps for death penalty reform with CSLEA.

"There is no question that the death penalty in California needs to be fixed," said Barcelona.  "Californians support the death penalty, as was evident when Prop 34, which would have eliminated the death penalty, was defeated.  The appellate process needs to be more efficient and the execution protocol needs to be finalized.  Executions in this state have been put on hold for far too long."

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