Proposition 66 is a measure that proposes significant changes to California death penalty proceedings. Contrary to its Proposition 62 opponent, the bid does not call for a complete prohibition of the death penalty as punishment for murder.
Prop 66 at a Glance
Proposition 66 addresses the time frame that a capital punishment case remains in the court of appeals. There are currently several prisoners sitting on what is commonly known as “death row.” Proposition 66 expedites the time between a capital punishment sentence and execution of such punishment by shortening the appeal span. The measure calls for all court proceedings regarding requests for further investigation or mercy conclude within five years of the initial sentence date.
Prop 66 vs. Prop 62
Many voters confuse Proposition 66 with Proposition 62 simply because both measures address the subject of capital punishment. Such identification is gravely erroneous as neither one of the measures are related to one another.
Proposition 62 calls for a repeal of the death penalty altogether, which would make California join the nineteen states that presently ban capital punishment as a penalty for murder. In these regions, life in prison with no possibility of parole is the greatest penance that a criminal can pay for his trespasses.
Proposition 66 does not call for a repeal of the death penalty, but a more efficient process that takes criminals from conviction to sanction faster. The measure seeks to address the problem of overcrowding by turning the court’s focus towards those who have already been sentenced and are awaiting the inevitable. Proposition 62 replaces the death penalty while Proposition 66 keeps the form of punishment in place.
Supporters and Opponents of the Measure
Republicans strongly support Proposition 66 while Democrats oppose the measure. Supporters point to the idea of the death penalty being necessary. They also claim that expedited appeals will prevent the execution of innocent individuals.
Opponents of the measure, however, deem it as a poorly written scheme that would cost taxpayers more money in the long run. Government officials and various activists believe that Proposition 66 would increase the likelihood of an innocent person suffering execution since certain legal safeguards would be removed to expedite the appeals process.
It seems that those in support of the proposition have placed their finances behind the measure with more than $13.2 million raised to promote the plan. Opponents have also presented a substantial amount of financial backing with just over $13.1 million going towards advertisements that discourage residents from voting for the proposition.
As of November 11th, proposition 66 is still pending official approval in California. The election shows a 50.9% of voters supporting the proposition.