CA Gov. Jerry Brown, Once Death Penalty Opponent, Avoids Ballot Issue Now


A plurality of likely California voters opposes a Nov. 6 ballot measure to repeal the death penalty, says a Field Poll reported by the Sacramento Bee. Gov. Jerry Brown wants no part of it, declining to say how he will vote. He said is focused solely on his own initiative to raise the state sales tax and income taxes on the highest earners.

In his gubernatorial campaign two yars ago, Brown was asked why, given his moral reservations about the death penalty, he wouldn’t try to stop it anymore. He said, “You want to reinvent the world. But we have the world. And this is a matter that’s been before the voters [ ] been before the legislature. At this point in time, it’s relatively settled.” Brown’s careful distance from abolishing the death penalty, a cause he once championed, reflects the caution of a governor who has grown more sensitive to the limitations and political hazards of his office than when he was governor before, from 1975 to 1983.

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