Voters Split on Death Penalty Measure
A new Field Poll finds voters closely divided on Proposition 34, the measure that would end the death penalty and replace it with life in prison.
Supporters of Prop. 34 say California's death penalty is broken and can't be fixed. Besides, they add, all those legal appeals are wasting taxpayer dollars.
In the latest Field Poll released Tuesday 42 percent of likely voters agree with ending executions. But slightly more -- 45 percent -- say no -- keep things just the way they are. Thirteen percent are undecided.
Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo says support for replacing the death penalty with life in prison has been gaining ground in recent years.
"I think that gives the Yes on 34 side a chance," he said. "But is starting off below 50 percent, and the history of our poll suggests that is an ominous place to start."
Although the measure is failing to win majority support, backers do seem to have a financial advantage. Proponents of Prop. 34 have vastly out-raised opponents, meaning voters will likely start seeing advertisements in favor of the measure.