death penalty

Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished?
Guests: Mike Farrell, President of Death Penalty Focus, a national organization; Tara Knight,  Certified Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy; and Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo County District Attorney and Second Vice-President of the  California District attorneys Association.
Listeners with questions for Chuck's guests, please call 1-866-798-8255.

Nancy Mullane

San Quentin State Prison has four massive cell blocks, each identified by their cardinal direction: north, south, east, and west. Of the four, only one houses inmates sentenced to death. None of the cell blocks have been visited by a reporter since 2007.

In 1851, the government of the new state of California legalized executions. But it wasn’t until 1891 that the state legislature required all executions take place within the walls of one of the state’s prisons.

The state’s first legal execution by hanging took place March 3, 1893 at San Quentin State Prison. Sixty-year-old José Gabriel was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a farming couple near San Diego.

On today's Your Call, we’ll continue our election coverage with a debate on Proposition 34, which would repeal the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment without parole. It would also apply retroactively to the sentences of the 725 people currently on California’s Death row. Supporters of Prop 34 say it will save the state money.  Opponents say it is not fair to victims and their family members.  Join us at 10am Pacific or post a comment here.  Do you think it's time to abolish California’s Death Penalty? It’s Your Call with Holly Kernan, and you.

On today's Your Call, we’ll talk about the history of the death penalty and the moratorium initiative on November’s ballot.  April 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the resumption of executions in California. Since then, 13 people have been executed, costing an average of $308M each. Will California become the sixth state in the country to repeal the death penalty? Join us at 10 or email  What explains the nationwide shift against the death penalty?  It’s Your Call with Rose Aguilar, and You.

Can people from different political backgrounds come together to work for prison reform? On today's Your Call, we'll have a conversation about various efforts to reform the prison system in the US. Today, 2.3 million prisoners are in US jails, costing more than $44 billion. In California, more money is spent on prisons than education. What will it take to reform the system? How are groups with different political backgrounds joining forces? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.