No matter how informed you are about this year’s election, one issue that should be on everybody’s mind is the controversial Proposition 34.
If Prop. 34 is passed, it would put an end to the death penalty in California, replacing it with life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“Some argue that the death penalty is too swift of a punishment and that life imprisonment could be a harsher punishment,” said junior Arian Akbar.
Only murder is punishable by death in California. While some argue that the proposition saves money and redirects it to law enforcement, others say these criminals deserve to die.
“I believe that we should keep the death penalty because criminals will know that if they are convicted of a major crime, they won’t just get to live,” said junior Andrea Ortadiaz. “Their life is in jeopardy, making criminals more scared of committing a crime.”
Junior Sebastian Hood agreed, supporting public safety.
“There’s a bad side to Prop. 34, but I still support it. The good thing is California will create a fund to be distributed to law enforcement agencies to help solve more homicide and rape cases, then we would have prisons filled with murderers, rapists, and other vigilantes with life in prison,” said Hood.
Junior Angun Bista, however, strongly opposes the death penalty.
“No matter what you do, you shouldn’t deserve death,” claimed Bista. “The death penalty is wrong and I’d rather live in prison than not have life.”
Opponents of Prop. 34 reason that it will cost taxpayers a needless $100 million over the next four years, and much more long term. Taxpayers pay at least $50,000 per prisoner annually, giving a lifetime of health care to criminals.
Those who support the proposition argue that Prop. 34 ensures that innocent people will receive life in prison without the possibility of parole instead of the death penalty, and criminals will work in order to pay court-order restitution to victims. This would save tax dollars and give $100 million to law enforcement to solve more rape and murder cases.