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California State Government November 7, 2006 Election
Smart Voter


By Michael S. Wyman

Candidate for Attorney General; State of California

This information is provided by the candidate
The Death Penalty is a Crime. It fails to provide justice, or deterrence, and disempowers us all in the face of the real problems of violence in our society.

Since 1976, when the death penalty was reinstituted by the Supreme Court, over 4500 people have been sentenced to death in the United States.

Of these, 1004 have been executed,

123 have been pardoned, acquitted at retrial or exonerated,

And at least 3373 are still on death row.

Let's look at the meaning of these statistics.


There were 3373 people on death row as of January 1, 2006.

55% of these are inmates of color. 42% are black. 45% are white.

At the rate of one per day it would take 9 years and 88 days to execute them all.

There are more people on death row in the US than there are Americans who have died in both the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan combined.

This is the death penalty today. It is the portrait of a punishment run amok.

Enough is Enough.


Since 1973, 123 DR inmates have been exonerated. (The most recent in February, 2006.) This means that 2.7 % of the people who have been sent to Death Row have later been found to be innocent or wrongfully convicted. Most of these are inmates who were sentenced to death 15-30 years ago.

How many others will be found to be innocent in the future?


Of the 1004 people executed in the USA since 1976, 58% were white, 34% were black, 8% were Latino, Native-American or Asian.

99% of the defendants were men. Half of the victims were women. 80 per cent of the victims were white. 12% were black.

60% (207) of the 340 Blacks executed since 1976 were accused of killing a white victim.

Of the 580 whites who have been executed, 546 were accused of killing a white person.

Since 1976, only 12 whites have been executed for killing a black person.


Twelve of the 50 states, 24%, have no death penalty.

20 of the states, 40%, account for less than 10% of the executions.

This means that 65% of the states are either anti-death penalty or account for less than 4 executions per year since 1976.

This is not the portrait of a kill-crazy country. This is a portrait of a country that has deep misgivings about the death penalty, which often sentences people to death, but when faced with the terrible prospect of taking a human life, shows itself to be deeply reluctant to carry out that sentence.


To understand the death penalty, you need to understand that five states, Texas, Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma and Missouri, account for 65% of all the executions in America. Ten states account for over 828 (82%) of the executions.

The twelve states of the formerly slave-holding South, Texas, LA, MS, Missouri, ARK, GA, AL, SC, NC, VA, Tennessee and Kentucky, account for 75% of the executions in the US. If we add Oklahoma, formerly a slave-holding territory, the percent grows to 83%.

Texas alone accounts for 35%, or one out of three executions in the US today.

All of the 12 states with no death penalty, and the District of Columbia, which also has no death penalty, lie outside the Deep South. The South, therefore, with only 1/3 of the population, accounts for 82%+ of the executions. The US outside the South, with 2/3 of the population, accounts for 17% of the executions.

Between the South and the Non-South, this represents a disparity in executions of nearly 10 to one by population.


During the eight years that George W. Bush was governor of Texas, he presided over the executions of 185 people. That was 52% of the total number of people executed in Texas to date, and amounted to an average of one execution every two weeks during the length of his term.

In other words, George W. Bush executed more people while governor than all the other Governors of Texas since 1976 combined. And they had 22 years total to match him.

The 185 people Bush executed account for nearly one out of every five people who have been executed in this country in the last 30 years.

Of the 185 people Bush executed, 184 were accused and convicted of killing a white person. Only one was accused of killing a person of color, an Asian-American.

Bush has never executed anyone for killing someone black.


There are two kinds of polls on the death penalty.

The first asks whether you approve or disapprove of the death penalty.

The second asks whether you prefer the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole.

In the first poll, the majority of people polled in this country and in this state say yes to the death penalty.

In the second, a majority (53% to 38%) of people in California, though not yet the country, say they would prefer life imprisonment without possibility of parole.

In a nutshell, this means that if it were up to the people of this state, there would be no death penalty in the state of California.


I, as the Green Party Candidate, oppose the death penalty, and agree, as do a majority of voters, that it should be replaced with life imprisonment without parole.

If all of the Californians who want to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment without parole voted for me, I would be the next Attorney General of the State of California.

Join Me!


415-785-3448 http://WWW.VOTEWYMAN.ORG

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