California Governor Jerry Brown has just over a month left in his final term in office. It’s time for him to take meaningful action and address the situation on California’s death row.
We already know the facts. A failed system has put nearly 750 people on death row. Two thirds of them are people of color who may not have been sentenced to death had it not been for the racism that pervades our criminal justice system. Nearly half of them were teenagers or young adults when they were sentenced to death, even though recent legislation has given second chances to others in this age group. Countless numbers suffer mental illness, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the lingering effects of addiction, poverty, and extreme childhood abuse.
We all remember earlier this year when a man was freed after 25 years on death row because the state Supreme Court ruled that he was convicted by evidence that was “false, extensive, pervasive, and impactful.” Death row is still filled with people convicted with the same junk science.
We also know that it’s just plain wrong to allow this to continue.
Click here to sign our petition asking Gov. Brown to intervene and grant clemency to as many people on death row as possible: those who could face execution, those who were kids at the time they were sentenced to death, and everyone else sentenced by this arbitrary, unjust, and racist system.
It’s the right thing to do. Many other governors, from both parties and around the US, have made broad use of their constitutional clemency powers in their final days in office. If Gov. Brown joins them, he will set an example of moral leadership for the rest of the country, and one we desperately need right now. With so many in power enabling racist and reactionary vigilantism, Gov. Brown can show that we need to prioritize justice over vengeance and break cycles of violence.
The Team at Death Penalty Focus
PS: We will follow up about with more information, but we wanted to let you know that Tuesday, November 27, is Giving Tuesday. If you make a donation through our Facebook page around 8 AM Eastern / 5 AM Pacific, you can qualify us for a matching gift toward your donation amount. We already have $3,000 pledged!
Death Penalty Focus
5 Third Street Suite 725 San Francisco, CA 94103