SACRAMENTO (April 24, 2012) - Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) joined a crowd of hundreds victims of crimes who have gathered to commemorate National Crime Victims Rights Week, April 22-28, this morning on the West Steps of the State Capitol. Nielsen expressed deep concern and understanding for the victims, and he addressed the measure that would repeal the Death Penalty in California which was qualified for the ballot and announced yesterday by the Secretary of State.
"This is one more ill-conceived attempt to undermine the death penalty in California," said Nielsen. "Voters have consistently rejected these efforts and they should once again. The specious argument about costs associated with the death penalty law is driven by the interminable litigation and a disregard for the Congressional Anti-terrorism and effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, whose whole purpose was to expedite this process while ensuring justice."
Nielsen shared that during the many years he served as Chairman of the California Board of Prison Terms, he had reviewed entire files of hundreds of death row inmates and been exposed to the seriousness of crimes perpetrated by those offenders and the enduring consequences of their crimes.
"Some crimes are so heinous and atrocious that justice cries out for this ultimate sentence," said Nielsen. "This will be sadly all the more on the minds of Californians as they become victims of crime as a result of the massive Public Safety Realignment disaster."
"The initiative is based on inaccurate information and it's probably going to cost California more in the long run," said Michael Rushford, the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a nonprofit, public interest law organization dedicated to improving the administration of criminal justice.
"It is ironic that this qualification has occurred the day before Crime Victims march on the State Capitol; who come to grieve and to ask -no more victims," said Nielsen. "The only comfort crime victims can have is that justice will be served. By eliminating the death penalty government demonstrates a callous disregard to these grieving victims and to those who will become victims in the future. I urge Californians to roundly reject this initiative."