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September 10, 2006

A public life concerned with death

In California, Jerry Brown is the Democratic nominee for attorney general. According to this interesting article, which spotlights the former Governor's long history with the death penalty, "Brown remains morally opposed to the practice but insists he will follow the law."  Here are some snippets:

For most of his adult life, and now in the midst of his bid to become California's next Attorney General, one political issue has hovered over Jerry Brown: the death penalty....

The death penalty was once a potent topic in California campaigns of the 1970s and '80s, particularly in gubernatorial and attorney general races. Since then, however, some political observers say the death penalty has faded as a campaign issue....

As a candidate for attorney general, Brown has appeared less fervent in his criticism of the death penalty.  ''I think we'd do better without it, but a majority of Californians disagree with that,'' Brown said in a wide-ranging interview in March.  He added the would ''strongly carry out the law of California.''  His campaign staff declined several recent invitations for Brown to discuss the subject.

Brown's position disturbs death penalty opponents, who once counted him as an ally because he often described the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole as a more humane and equally effective deterrent as capital punishment.  ''It's somewhat tiresome when somebody gives me that excuse,'' said Mike Farrell, an actor and president of Death Penalty Focus.  ''I would love to see him sort of put his career, if you will, where his mouth is.''

September 10, 2006 at 07:01 AM | Permalink


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