With the passage of Proposition 7 in November, 1978, California has had the death penalty as a punishment for serious offenders. Around 900 individuals have been given a death sentence with 14 actually executed. 83 have died prior to being executed, and about 75 have had their sentences reduced by the courts. Currently, California has 725 offenders sentenced to death.
This measure repeals California's death penalty statute. If passed, no offender could be sentenced to death by the state. Offenders currently sentenced to death would be automatically resentenced to a prison term of life without the possibility of parole. The state Supreme court would be permitted to transfer all death penalty direct appeals and habeas corpus petitions to the California Courts of Appeal or state superior courts.
Existing state law requires most state prisoners to work. However, it does allows for some exceptions to work requirements for prisoners convicted of murder who pose too great a security risk to mix with the general prison population or perform work tasks. Proposition 34 would require all people convicted of murder to work while in state prison. Their pay would be deducted to pay for any debts owed to victims of crime. Existing prison practices related to inmate work requirements would not necessarily be changed by the measure.
In addition to a dissolving the death penalty, Prop. 34 would establish the SAFE California Fund to be distributed to law enforcement agencies to help solve more rape and homocide cases. $100 million would be transferred from the state General Fund to the SAFE California Fund from 2012 through 2016. Money would be distributed to local law enforcement agencies based on a formula created by the state attorney general.