California voters face two capital punishment choices on the November ballot: End the death penalty or speed the way for execution. On death row, inmates are conflicted over the prospects of one-shot appeals, mandated lawyer assignments, and simplified execution rules meant to rekindle a capital punishment system that hasn’t executed anyone in a decade, or the simple alternative, throw out the death penalty in favor of life without parole, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The historic San Quentin prison houses both a new, never-used execution chamber and the state’s condemned men. In interviews by phone and during two rare tours, some condemned inmates embraced the repeal of the death penalty even as others favored faster appeals, despite accelerating their own march to execution. Some others voiced anxiety and predictions of violence if they were cast out into the general prison population. Paul Tuilaepa, condemned because he killed a man in 1986 who knocked down his partner during a bar robbery, said he was certain most welcome an end to the threat of death, even if “they just don’t say it.”