Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

Ron Briggs, longtime champion of the death penalty, reverses course

by Patt Morrison

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A view of the death chamber from the witness room at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility shows an electric chair and gurney August 29, 2001 in Lucasville, Ohio. Mike Simons/Getty Images

Even if you support the death penalty, it’s not working, and if you oppose it, then it never should work. In 1978, California voters passed the Briggs Death Penalty Initiative, which expanded the use of, and eligibility for, the state’s death penalty. The Briggs family argued the initiative would allow for swift, just punishment for crimes of murder. But today, California’s death row has ballooned to more than seven hundred prisoners, more than any other state. The state has also only executed thirteen convicted murderers since the initiative passed over thirty year ago. Now, Ron Briggs, who campaigned along with his father Senator John Briggs and brother-in-law to pass the initiative, admits it was flawed. He’s trying to replace the death penalty in the state with life in prison, without parole. Patt talks to him about his change of heart and what he learned from his father’s career.

WEIGH IN:

Do you support the death penalty?

Guest:

Ron Briggs, member of the Board of Supervisors in El Dorado County (4th District) CA; co-sponsor, along with his father, former State Senator John Briggs, of the 1978 Briggs Death Penalty Initiative

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