Election 2012: California votes down anti-death-penalty Prop. 34

Californians have voted down Prop. 34, which sought to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which has officially opposed the death penalty since 1999, contributed staff and resources to the “Yes on 34” campaign.

Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey said:

California’s vote against ending the death penalty is greatly disappointing and a strike against our common humanity. We have long known that innocent people die under the death penalty, that it does not deter crime, and that it is disproportionately applied to people of color and poor people.

These are among the many reasons to oppose the death penalty, which is also considered a fundamental human rights violation under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

California’s criminal justice system is broken and costly. It’s no surprise that many law enforcement and justice groups supported Prop. 34, in addition to a broad spectrum of human rights organizations.

As lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, we know what it’s like to be unfairly singled out for discrimination and mistreatment. We are acutely aware of the severe harm caused by inequity and injustice. In the case of the death penalty, there is no going back.

Thank you to the Yes on 34 campaign, the SAFE California coalition — especially our good friends at the ACLU of Southern California. They, and so many others, worked so hard on this issue, which is literally one of life and death. We continue to stand with them in the work to end the death penalty once and for all.