Annual Luncheon Inspires Action

Annual Luncheon-2“The death penalty is only the lid on the garbage can of a very broken criminal justice system,’’ summarized Jeanne Woodford, former Warden at San Quentin, in an inspiring and very informative keynote speech at the LWVBAE Annual Community Luncheon on August 15.   Her talk stressed the failure of California’s system to adequately prepare released prisoners for re-entry into society.

Ms. Woodford pointed out that passage of AB108 and AB117 in 2011 which transferred jurisdiction of lower level criminals from the state to the counties and stresses rehabilitation (commonly called “realignment”), is a good step forward, but is being executed very unevenly by counties across the state.

Also that the death penalty has been shown to be a significant waste of money. California currently has 729 inmates on death row, with only 13 executed since 1978.  We have spent $4 billion more on those same inmates and their trials as we would have if they had been simply sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Jeanne Woodford’s entire talk can be seen by clicking the link Criminal Justice in California.

Also at the luncheon Jane and Tom Coulter were honored with the “Spirit of the League” award.  As were “Daily Bread”, an organization providing food left unsold at restaurants and grocers with people who need food, and “The Berkeley Project”, a group of primarily Cal students offering volunteer help to local community organizations and projects.

Photo:  Jeanne Woodford (keynote speaker), Sherry Smith (host), and Jenny Waggoner (LWVC President) at the LWVBAE Annual Community Luncheon

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