Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Saturday, October 1, 2016


            Similar to Vote No on Proposition 34 in 2012, we recommend and endorse No on 62, Yes on Prop 66. Here is an article explaining why we should vote yes on Proposition 66:

Death penalty stirs emotions in Petaluma

ARGUS-COURIER STAFF | September 8, 2016, 10:31AM 

In this Oct. 30, 2015 file photo, Marc Klaas, far left at podium, father of Polly Klaas, who was kidnapped and slain in 1993; Scott Jones, Sacramento County sheriff; L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Sheriff Jim McDonnel join other victims' rights advocates, community leaders, and elected officials to announce efforts to place an initiative on the 2016 ballot to streamline the death penalty in California. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
It has been 20 years since Richard Allen Davis was sentenced to death for kidnapping, raping and murdering 12-year-old Polly Klaas of Petaluma in 1993, bringing to a close a case that shocked and outraged the community while cementing a legacy as the most horrific crime in the city’s history.

But for Marc Klaas, Polly’s father, the case is not closed as long as Davis is still alive. The Marin County resident and president of the KlaasKids Foundation, which aims to stop crimes against children, also is an advocate for the death penalty.

Klaas said he is closely watching two competing state initiatives on the November ballot — one that would abolish the death penalty in California and one that would expedite the process. He said seeing Davis put to death would bring a sense of finality to the case.

“It would give me satisfaction. It would give my daughter closure,” he said. “I think she deserves closure. The only way to get that is for Richard Allen Davis to be put down.”

Prop. 66 would speed up the death penalty process for Davis and the more than 700 other inmates on California’s death row, the largest in the nation. It would change the appeals process in death penalty cases, freeing up more attorneys and judges to hear cases and accelerating the process.

Opponents of capital punishment, who are against the measure, are backing Prop. 62, which would abolish the death penalty altogether. It would change all current death sentences to life without parole, and require inmates to work in prison and pay restitution to families of victims.

For Petaluma resident Linda Fox, repealing the death penalty has been her life’s work ever since meeting a former death row inmate from Washington state, who had his sentence changed to life in prison, was released on parole, and advocated against capital punishment.
A paralegal, Fox retired after a career with the California Appellate Project, a resource for lawyers representing death row inmates, and now sits on the board of Death Penalty Focus, an organization seeking to end the death penalty.

She said that it costs the state less to lock someone up for life than it does to keep them on death row. Death penalty proponents dispute that claim. Executions have been suspended in California since 2006 when a federal judge ruled the lethal injection process would cause undue suffering.

Fox and other death penalty opponents argue that it does not deter criminals and is inhumane. The finality of an execution rules out the chance that an inmate could be found innocent with new evidence, Fox said, citing a case in Texas where a man was posthumously exonerated after being put to death.

“It’s just the wrong thing to do,” she said. “Killing people who kill people is simply not the answer.”

Fox said she remembers the Polly Klaas case and acknowledged that it is still a fresh wound for many in Petaluma, even more than two decades later. But, she said, Polly Klaas’ killer has received undue notoriety partly because he is on death row.

“The reason we still know Richard Allen Davis’ name is because he got the death penalty and he continues to be in the news,” she said. “If he had life without parole, that would put an end to it. It would ensure he breathes his last breath in prison.”

For Marc Klaas, however, justice will be served only once Davis is executed. He said convicted murderers like Davis deserve the highest punishment available.

“These are the worst killers — cop killers, serial killers, child killers. They set a standard for evil that needs to be acknowledged,” he said. “If you give Polly’s killer what he wants — his life — that’s not punishment.”

(Contact Matt Brown at matt.brown@arguscourier.com.)

Repeal The Death Penalty? 6 Quotes From ‘Yes’ And ‘No’ Campaigns

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