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Support For Plastic Bags And Changes To The Death Penalty

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Recent informal MyMotherLode polls addressed the last thee of seventeen polls on the November ballot. The informal poll about Proposition 65 was combined witsh Prop 67, both about single use bags. The question notes that Prop 67 is about banning plastic bags in California and allowing a store to keep the money from the sale of bags to carry out goods. The poll question asked “Do you support Prop 65 giving bag money to [environmental] programs (applies in future if Prop 67 fails)?” The results were mostly (67 percent) against both Props but the remaining one third were split; 15 percent for both Props, 10 percent only for Prop 67 and just 8 percent in support of Prop 65.

Specifically Prop 67 prohibits grocery and other stores from providing customers single-use plastic or paper carryout bags but permits sale of recycled paper bags and reusable bags. Over $2 million has been spent in support of promoting the Prop but over $6.1 million has also been spent on campaigns against. On Prop 65, no funding has been reported against it, but more than $6.1 million has been spent promoting it.

The last of the 17 measures on the November 8th ballot to be addressed in an informal poll was, “Do You Support Prop 66: limits legal challenges to death sentences, 5yrs for Habeas Corpus, condemned inmates housed at any state prison?” The results was 63 percent yes, 31 percent No and 6 percent don’t know. Campaign spending related to the bill has been more than $12.6 million in favor and $11.4 million against.

Prop 66 authorizes death row inmate transfers among California prisons. Currently there are 748 prisoners with death sentences in California: male inmates are generally required to be housed at San Quentin State Prison (on death row), female inmates are housed at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla.

Prop 66 changes procedures governing state court challenges to death sentences including designating superior court for initial petitions and limiting successive petitions. Such petitions are commonly referred to as “habeas corpus” petitions and differ from those considered in direct appeals because they involve claims that a defendant’s attorney was ineffective or the jury was unaware of information about the defendant’s situation. The measure seeks to limit the direct appeal and habeas corpus petition to process to within five years of the death sentence.

As of April 2016, an estimated 337 direct appeals and 263 state habeas corpus petitions were pending in the California Supreme Court. To help achieve the five year limit Prop 66 also requires appointed attorneys who take noncapital appeals to accept death penalty appeals among other things. The state estimates Prop 66 could save tens of millions of dollars annually, the voters guide states current spending is about $55 million annually on just the legal challenges to death sentences and additional varied costs related to continued incarceration.

The news story about the informal MyMotherLode polls on Propositions 51 and 52 is here. The news story about Propositions 53, 54, 55 and 56 is here. The news story about Propositions 57, 58, 59, 60 and 61 is here. The news story about Propositions 62, 63, and 64 is here. To review the results of all informal Proposition polls see our polls archive here.