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Thursday, October 25, 2012

  • Prop 34: Ex-San Quentin Prison Warden Jeanne Woodford Backs California Measure to End Death Penalty

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    The former warden of San Quentin State Prison, Jeanne Woodford, joins us to discuss why she has come out in favor of Proposition 34, a ballot initiative to abolish the death penalty in California. Home to nearly a quarter of the nation’s death row population and in a state coping with budget crisis, independent analysts estimate that getting rid of the death penalty could save California taxpayers $130 million annually. The latest polls show a narrow margin of Californians oppose Prop 34 and that significant percentages are still undecided. Since leaving San Quentin — where she oversaw four executions, despite being personally opposed — Woodford now serves as executive director of Death Penalty Focus of California, which educates the public about alternatives to the death penalty. [includes rush transcript]

  • A Life Sentence for Stealing Socks? California’s Prop 36 to Decide Future of Three-Strikes Law

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    Under California’s three-strikes law, a person convicted of a felony who has two or more prior convictions for certain offenses must be sentenced to at least 25 years to life in state prison, even if the third offense is nonviolent. Critics have argued it is the harshest sentencing law in the United States. Life sentences have been handed down for stealing a pair of pants, shoplifting, forging a check and breaking into a soup kitchen. Although other states have three-strikes laws, California is the only state where a life sentence can be handed down for a nonviolent crime that could qualify as a misdemeanor, such as petty theft or drug possession. We speak to Michael Romano, director of the Three Strikes Project at Stanford Law School and a co-author of Proposition 36, and to Judge LaDoris Cordell, a retired Superior Court judge. [includes rush transcript]

  • Valeria "Munique" Tachiquin: U.S. Agent Kills Young Mother of 5 in Latest of Growing Border Deaths

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    In the wake of a dramatic increase in deaths at the hands of U.S Border Patrol agents, the Department of Homeland Security has agreed to launch a long-awaited investigation into the agency’s use of force. Since 2010, border agents have killed at least 18 people, including Valeria "Munique" Tachiquin, slain by a Border Patrol agent on September 28 in broad daylight several miles north of California’s border with Mexico. Tachiquin was a U.S. citizen and mother of five children. Her family is now bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against the Border Patrol. We’re joined by Valeria’s father, Valentin Tachiquin, and by Christian Ramirez, director of Southern Border Communities Coalition and human rights director of Alliance San Diego. [includes rush transcript]