Death Penalty Forum slated April 11

Hosted by Sierra College Political Science Club
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The Sierra College Political Science Club will host a forum on the death penalty from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11 in the Dietrich Theater on the Rocklin campus. Guest speakers will discuss an initiative to repeal the death penalty that is being proposed for the November ballot. Panel members include Michael Vitiello, a nationally recognized expert on criminal law; Ellen Eggers, an attorney with the Office of the State Public Defender in Sacramento; and Franky Carrillo, who at age 16 was wrongfully convicted of murder. Vitiello is particularly well-known for his expertise on matters involving sentencing reform, and his analysis of the legal issues that would arise from the legalization of marijuana. Eggers has been representing death row inmates in their direct appeals to the California Supreme Court since 1990. Before that she was counsel to Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union in Keene. She was one of the founding members of the Sacramento Chapter of Death Penalty Focus. Carrillo’s murder conviction was based solely on identification testimony from six people. All six eventually admitted they were unable to see the shooter, and were influenced to make their identifications of Carrillo by the police and by each other. Two other men have since confessed to the shooting and said that Carrillo was not involved. Though innocence issues were raised early in his trial, and again during Carrillo’s failed appeals, it required the dedication and hard work of many lawyers and supporters, led by Eggers, to finally win his release. In March 2011, the Los Angeles County Superior Court reversed Franky Carrillo Jr.’s 1992 conviction for murder and ordered his release after two decades behind bars. Carrillo now works as a Justice Advocate with the state Public Defender’s office to tell his story and educate the public about the real danger of incarcerating and even executing the innocent. A California End the Death Penalty Act (11-0035) was approved for circulation in California as an initiated state statute. Supporters of the initiative submitted more than 800,000 signatures to qualify the measure for the state’s Nov. 6 ballot. If the state's voters approve it, the initiative will end the death penalty in California. California has 714 people on death row. Seven of them have exhausted all appeals and are, therefore, eligible for execution. In the interim, legal challenges to California's lethal injection procedure must be resolved before any of them could be executed. The last execution in California took place in 2006. For more information about the Political Science Club, or this forum, call Professor Winsome Jackson at (916) 660-8058 or Sierra College is located at 5000 Rocklin Road. The forum is free and open to the public, however, there is a $2 parking fee. Parking permits can be purchased at dispensers located in the parking lot. ________ Know and Go: What: Forum on initiative to repeal death penalty When: 12:30 to 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 11 Where: Dietricth Theater on Sierra College Rocklin campus Cost: Free. There is $2 parking fee on campus.