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Why is Rodney still locked in a cell?

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

The only evidence the prosecution had, well, really didn't have, has been completely refuted by their only witness, former Medical Examiner Robert Bayardo.  Rodney's case sits on the desk of a federal district judge and because of the 1996 law passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Anti-terrorism Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA); it is possible that the refutation may not meet the necessary threshold of relevance to matter. What?


Money for education, not for police

Examining the California SAFE Act


By: Steve Champion

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty sent a questionnaire into over 200 prisoners in San Quentin seeking their thoughts about the SAFE Act. Below is one of the many responses we received.  

I grew up in Los Angeles, California. I am a former gang member. I’ve been incarcerated for over 30 years—twenty-nine of those years and counting have been spent on San Quentin’s death row.

Since my captivity, I’ve become a writer and author. I’ve co-authored the book “The Scared Eye of the Falcon” and wrote my death row memoir “Dead to Deliverance”. I continue to read, write, and speak out against injustice whenever it exists.

In response to the queries I will try to condense my answers.


Modern form of slavery

Examining the California SAFE Act

By: Calvin D Chism

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty sent a questionnaire into over 200 prisoners in San Quentin seeking their thoughts about the SAFE Act. Below is one of the many responses we received. 

I am not in favor of the SAFE Act! This proposal is a modern day form of slavery.

The SAFE Act strips a man of his right to challenge injustice. The SAFE Act deprives a man of hope by silencing his voice. When you put that man in a lose-lose situation (life without the possibility of parole) with no legal recourse, give him a prison job at $.43 max per hour, and then force that man to pay 55% restitution back to the prison, leaving that man with slave wages.


It does nothing to address issues that drive crime

Examining the California SAFE Act


By: Steve Champion

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty sent a questionnaire in to over 200 California death row prisoners seeking their thoughts about the SAFE Act. Obviously, they will be the most affected by the legislation and their voices have been mostly left out of the conversation. Below is one of the many responses we received.  

I grew up in Los Angeles, California. I am a former gang member. I’ve been incarcerated for over 30 years—twenty-nine of those years and counting have been spent on San Quentin’s death row.

Since my captivity, I’ve become a writer and author. I’ve co-authored the book “The Scared Eye of the Falcon” and wrote my death row memoir “Dead to Deliverance”. I continue to read, write, and speak out against injustice whenever it exists.


The System Will Still Be Broken

Examining the California SAFE Act

By: Joe R Avila

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty sent a questionnaire into over 200 prisoners in San Quentin seeking their thoughts about the SAFE Act. Below is one of the many responses we received. 

I am opposed to the SAFE Act because it would have an effect on how my case is scrutinized. That nature of my case is similar to that of Estaban Núñez, whose father was a California assembly speaker. His sentence was reduced from 16 years to seven years by outgoing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Initially, I was charged with voluntary manslaughter and Núñez with first-degree murder. He received a manslaughter charge with a sentence reduction leading to his freedom. I, in turn, went from a voluntary manslaughter charge to a death sentence.


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