Since California re-instated capital punishment in 1978, nearly 900 death sentences have been handed down. But just 13 condemned inmates have been executed in that time. Legal dispute over the drugs used for executions and a lengthy appeals process have caused long delays. Supporters and opponents of capital punishment agree that California’s death penalty system isn’t working.
This election day, voters will decide on two dueling propositions to change the death penalty: Prop. 62 would abolish capital punishment, while Prop. 66 is designed to speed up the process.
Featuring interviews with victims’ families, the district attorney who prosecuted Scott Peterson, and the former warden of San Quentin State Prison, this story examines both sides of the issue.
Produced by Lori Halloran and reported by Scott Shafer.
Thuy Vu moderates a follow up discussion between former death row inmate Shujaa Graham and San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
KQED NEWSROOM is a weekly news magazine program that airs on television, radio and online. Watch Fridays at 8 p.m. on KQED Public Television 9, listen on Sundays at 6 p.m. on KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM, or watch online here.