SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Passage of Proposition 34, the initiative on the November ballot that would replace the death penalty in California with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, would "put law enforcement at risk," the president of the union representing San Diego County Sheriff's Department deputies said Friday.
"Eliminating the death penalty would impact public safety," Deputy Sheriffs' Association of San Diego President Dave Schaller said in conjunction with the campaign against the measure announcing additions to the list of law enforcement unions opposed to the proposition.
Natasha Minsker, campaign manager of the campaign on behalf of Proposition 34, called the measure "justice that works for everybody."
"Thousands of victims wait for justice while we waste millions on death row, on special housing, lifelong legal teams that work only on death penalty cases and extra visiting hours," Minsker told City News Service.
"Killers who commit monstrous acts must be swiftly brought to justice, locked up forever and severely punished. That's why Proposition 34 directs $100 million in savings for more DNA testing, crime labs and other tools that help cops solve rapes and murders."
Proposition 34 would apply retroactively to people already sentenced to death and require convicted killers to work while imprisoned, with their wages applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them.
Passage of the measure would result in net savings to the state and counties of "the high tens of millions of dollars annually on a statewide basis," according to an analysis prepared by Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor and Director of Finance Ana J. Matosantos.
California's death penalty law was approved by voters in 1978 and has resulted in 13 executions, the most recent in 2006.
The City Council is scheduled Wednesday to take the first step in calling for residents to conserve water on a voluntary basis following the third straight winter with below-average rainfall.
Jury selection was scheduled to begin Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of gunning down his ex-wife in their Lakeside home and then trying to commit suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide.
A San Diego State student awoke to find a man rummaging through her apartment near campus early Wednesday, police said.
An 18-year-old student has been hospitalized and is undergoing a psychological evaluation after allegedly threatening her parents with a knife.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled Tuesday for a former San Diego police officer accused of groping four women during pat-down searches last year.