Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Proposition 34: Should California fix or nix its death penalty?

Rina Palta / KPCC

Bethany Webb holds a photo from her wedding of her and her sister, Laura. Laura Webb died in a massacre at a Seal Beach hair salon in 2011.

Bethany Webb’s Huntington Beach home is filled with family photos. Many of her little sister, Laura. Laura Webb was fatally shot just over a year ago, in the Seal Beach hair salon where she worked. Her mother was wounded too, but survived. Prosecutors say a man, angry at his ex-wife who worked there, donned a bulletproof vest, walked into the salon, and killed eight people. Witnesses said Webb begged for her life before the shooter turned on her.

“My sister died afraid," Webb says. "I wake up in the middle of the night, thinking how afraid she was. And that he will never be afraid."

"He" is Scott Evans Dekraai, the man prosecutors say committed the killings. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Dekraai. But history tells us that if Dekraii is convicted and sentenced to death, he’ll be transferred to a secure, sedate cell on California’s death row, far from the customary horrors of prison life, and with a team of lawyers devoted to his case.

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That's My Issue: The Environment

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY UTE MEHNERT.A wo

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

A woman stands amongst a grove of a Giant Sequoia trees in the Sequoia National Park in Central California on October 11, 2009.

This post is part of KPCC & WNYC's "That's My Issue" series, and represents the views of its author, not of either station. 


My name is Alex, I’m from Los Angeles, and the most important issue to me is the environment. 

And at this debate, I was a little disappointed. One, because it’s limited to the two big parties. We didn’t see Jill Stein and we didn’t see, is it Gary Johnson, is that the Libertarian? So, we didn’t get to see those alternative opinions, really.

The moderator didn’t ask any questions that dealt with the ecological health of the country, of the world, didn’t deal with climate change, anything like that, so that was disappointing for me.

There was a little bit of green jobs, green fuels, but it was more just like a ribbing point for Romney.

That's My Issue: It affects all of us at the level of our bodies by KPCC

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PHOTOS: Anti-Prop 8 gallery of CA members of Congress for National Coming Out Day

Congressman Joe Baca

Adam Bouska

Congressman Joe Baca

Congresswoman Judy Chu

Adam Bouska

Congresswoman Judy Chu

Congresswoman Susan Davis

Adam Bouska

Congresswoman Susan Davis

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard

Adam Bouska

Congresswoman Lucille Royball-Allard

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren

Adam Bouska

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren

Adam Bouska

Congressman Sam Farr

Congresswoman Jackie Speier

Adam Bouska

Congresswoman Jackie Speier

Congresswoman Lois Capps

Adam Bouska

Congresswoman Lois Capps

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey

Adam Bouska

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey


Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day, the anniversary of the 1987 march on Washington, D.C. in favor of gay and lesbian rights.

To mark the day, more than half a dozen of the state's congressional Democrats posed for pictures to show their opposition to California's Proposition 8, the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

Democrat Adam Schiff of Burbank hosted the photo shoot last month for a campaign called “NOH8 on The Hill.” Schiff said "our friends, neighbors and family members deserve to have their commitment recognized, and the NOH8 campaign is on the forefront of that important battle.”

NOH8 campaign photographer Adam Bouska took the snapshots.

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Election year twist: LA Democrat touting GOP endorsements in House race

In a year when Democrats and Republicans agree on almost nothing, it's strange to see a campaign strategy that has a Democrat touting his Republican support.

But this isn't a normal election year. California's new "top two" election system has Democrats running against Democrats and Republicans running against Republicans in the November general election.

So in the highly competitive San Fernando Valley race pitting veteran House Democrats Brad Sherman and Howard Berman against each other, Berman says he's received the endorsements from a majority of California’s Republican congressional delegation. The list includes David Dreier (who's retiring), Darrell Issa, Mary Bono Mack, Ken Calvert, Jerry Lewis (retiring), Ed Royce, Dan Lungren, Wally Herger (retiring), Elton Gallegly (retiring) and Buck McKeon.   

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