The Green Party has unconditionally opposed capital punishment since the party started. Non-violence is one of our key values, and opposition to the death penalty is a key part of our state and national platform, and the Global Greens Charter.
Making matters worse, in practice the death penalty is applied disproportionately in a racially biased manner, and to the least advantaged and most vulnerable in society, meaning this is a profound civil rights issue as well. This bias extends to the race and economic class of the victim.
Therefore, the Green Party believes that the death penalty should be eliminated immediately and unconditionally, and endorses Prop 34 to help bring this about.
However, by automatically converting existing death sentences to life imprisonment without parole, Prop 34 would de facto eliminate funding for appeals which are provided today for those sentenced to death. While we recognize that most appeals of a death sentence may not have a better result than life without parole, this raises the issue of the lack of funding of appeals for all those sentenced to life without parole, which the Green Party believes must be addressed.
At the same time, the Green Party believes we must take advantage of this historic opportunity to end the abhorrent practice of state-sanctioned murder in our state -- and in our collective names. There is no place for this kind of practice in society.
Prop 34's passage will ensure that people are no longer executed in California. It will also be a major step toward creating a more just and humane society, where we recognize and value the humanity in each of us.