Californians headed to the polls to elect our next president will have another big decision to make: Should the state abolish capital punishment and commute all death sentences to life in prison?

According to the BBC, death penalty opponents are selling the ballot measure on financial and not merely moral grounds:

No inmate has been put to death in the state since 2006, and a respected study in 2009 noted that the state was spending some $184m each year to keep death row and the death penalty infrastructure up and running.

Opponents of the measure argue that the principle of the death penalty is valid and should remain, but say the constant and costly appeals and legal fees are inflating the costs.

Although California doesn’t have the zeal for killing people that is found in Texas, which has executed at least 1,232 inmates, polls have shown residents strongly in favor of the death penalty for decades. A poll in 2011 showed 68 percent of respondents favoring capital punishment. — PZS

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