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Save $1 Billion in Five Years — End the Death Penalty in California

By Natasha Minsker, ACLU of Northern California at 4:52pm
In the market for a prime piece of real estate? Governor Schwarzenegger has the deal for you! Facing a $21.3 Billion budget deficit in California, Schwarzenegger has offered to sell state-owned property to make up the difference. The crown jewel of the proposed fire sale is San Quentin State Prison, home to California’s death row and beautifully situated in the San Francisco Bay.

Prosecutors, Cops and Judges: Ready to Ditch California’s Death Penalty

By Natasha Minsker, ACLU of Northern California at 1:29pm

(Originally posted on the California Progress Report.)

In opinion pieces that appeared in papers across California last year, former prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officers raised their voices to declare: enough already, it’s…

Need to Trim Corrections Spending, Governor? Stop Wasting Money on the Death Penalty!

By Natasha Minsker, ACLU of Northern California at 10:32am

If Gov. Schwarzenegger thinks he can cut $3.5 billion from state spending on corrections, he is being unrealistic and impractical.

In his state of the state address Wednesday, Gov. Schwarzenegger promised to restore the California dream by…

Wake Up California: It’s Time to Get Real About Criminal Justice Reform

By Natasha Minsker, ACLU of Northern California at 5:54pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

The "Prison Population and Budget Reduction Package" proposed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is like a drunk person walking home from a bar — it knows where…

After 30 Years, California Examines its Dysfunctional Death Penalty

By Natasha Minsker, ACLU of Northern California at 5:10pm

Originally posted on Daily Kos.

It's never too late.

After 30 years of executions, the state of California is finally conducting an exhaustive review of the death penalty system. While the report will not be released to the public for…

Time for California to Catch Up with the Death Penalty Decline

By Natasha Minsker, ACLU of Northern California at 2:01pm

Most of the country seems to be getting it: The death penalty is expensive and risky. The expense to execute a prisoner is staggering: in California, the cost of death row housing alone is $90,000 more per year, per inmate (PDF) compared to housing…

It's Official — California's Death Penalty is a Multi-Million Dollar Failure. Now What?

By Natasha Minsker, ACLU of Northern California at 12:16pm

A panel of experts, including 10 law enforcement officers and prosecutors, unanimously agrees that California’s death penalty is utterly broken. To fix it, we’ll need to spend over $200 million per year. The current failed system already…

"I've Got a Secret Mission for You."

By Natasha Minsker, ACLU of Northern California at 4:22pm

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations (CDCR) finally released 989 pages of heavily redacted records to the ACLU of Northern California revealing how it acquired one of the drugs needed for executions. The documents literally…

Death, Taxes...and Dry Cleaning?

By Natasha Minsker, ACLU of Northern California at 3:29pm
Heads up, Californians. Your state's death row is a money pit, and the government is throwing tons of taxpayer cash into it despite a wealth of evidence that it is a bad investment. On Friday, the ACLU of Northern California released two reports…

A Tale of Two District Attorneys

By Natasha Minsker, ACLU of Northern California at 2:14pm

(A version of this post originally appeared on California Progress Report.)

Robertson County, Texas, November, 2000. A 24-year-old single mother of four, Regina Kelly, is caught up in a drug sweep triggered by the uncorroborated word of…

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