Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully, a statewide Co-Chair of Californians for Justice and Public Safety – No on 34 – today issued the following statement following the decision by Sacramento Superior Court Justice Timothy Frawley to change false and misleading statements made by Proposition 34 proponents in official ballot arguments as part of their campaign to eliminate California’s death penalty. Nearly every major public safety organization in the state opposes Prop 34 because it will embolden criminals and endanger California.
“We appreciate Judge Frawley's thoughtful decision, which upholds our position that the Proponents of Prop 34 are waging a deceptive campaign in an effort to eliminate the Death Penalty.
Convincing a Judge to change ballot statements is an extraordinary action. Judge Frawley agreed with us that Prop 34 proponents' attempt to suggest that the measure's $100 million appropriation was a result of alleged savings is false. He rightly acknowledged that, if Prop 34 passes, $100 million will be taken from the State General fund, regardless of whether or not any money is actually saved. There were other assertions by the proponents in their ballot arguments that the judge labeled as ‘hyperbole” or “opinion’. Translation - their assertions are exaggerated claims or opinions.
California voters deserve better. Consumers must get accurate and honest disclosure of what is contained in the products they buy, or District Attorneys can prosecute the manufacturers for consumer fraud. Said another way, they can be prosecuted for false advertising and unfair business practices.
Sadly, there are no standards for honesty and accuracy for special interests and political campaigns. If we did, Prop 34 proponents and those who have long sought to eliminate the death penalty wouldn’t get to use hyperbole or be allowed to mislead by exaggeration. It should be noted that Prop 34 supporters did not challenge a single statement by our side. That's because we stick to the facts and respect voters who have consistently and overwhelmingly affirmed the Death Penalty as a just sentence in cases where a murder has been committed with special and horrific circumstances. Never, in the arguments made by those who support repealing the death penalty do you hear them talk about the victims of the killers they seek to save.
Well that stops today. Of course the murdered victims cannot speak, but there are victims who can. They are the families of murdered victims that lost a loved one at the hands of a cold-blooded killer. Our campaign will give them a voice to speak out about public safety. And that's what is important...public safety. Justice...the right of Californians to live in a safe community. Today is the first defeat for the Proposition 34 campaign. The next one will be on Election Day, when voters reject the hyperbole and opinion and stand up for California by voting No on 34.”