LOS ANGELES, CA – MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) today announces its endorsement of California’s Proposition 62.

MALDEF urges all California voters to vote “Yes” on the proposition. Proposition 62 would eliminate the death penalty in California and substitute a sentence of life without possibility of parole. The initiative would save the state substantial amounts of money currently expended on the important legal review required for sentences of death.

“It is time for California to take on a civil rights leadership role in eliminating the death penalty,” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel. “The discriminatory pattern of imposition of the death penalty bears a disturbing societal message about the relative value of victims’ lives based on race, and the proven risk that innocent persons may be executed falls most heavily on African Americans and Latinos.”

Proposition 62 is one of several California propositions on which MALDEF has made an endorsement, including an endorsed “No” vote on the competing initiative, Proposition 66.