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Is the Death Penalty Worth the Cost?

Cal State Fullerton Constitution Day Panel Examines Proposition 34 With its Principal Author — Former L.A. District Attorney Gil Garcetti

Sept. 5, 2012 | Updated Sept. 17, 2012

Gil Garcetti , former Los Angeles County district attorney and a principal author of Proposition 34 on the Nov. 6 ballot will speak at Cal State Fullerton Wednesday night, Sept. 19.

He will join others from the legal community to debate whether the price of capital punishment is worth the consequences.

The Constitution Day event — free and open to the public — features a panel discussion from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Titan Student Union’s Portola Pavilion on Prop. 34 and the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Prop. 34, if passed by voters in November, would repeal the death penalty in California, substituting life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

Panelists will explore the fiscal and moral implications of capital punishment. Besides Garcetti, the other panelists are:

Michele Hainsee , a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney and representative of the “No on 34” campaign. The prosecutor has tried more than 100 jury trials, including 36 murder trials of which three resulted in death sentences. She joined the district attorney’s office in 1998, after having worked as counsel for Thrifty Oil Co. for two years.

Paula M. Mitchell , an adjunct professor of law at Loyola Law School, research attorney and career judicial law clerk for senior Ninth Circuit Judge Arthur L. Alarcón. The two authored a study released last year, “Executing the Will of the Voters: A Roadmap to Mend or End the California Legislature’s Multi-Billion-Dollar Death Penalty Debacle,” in which they forecast that the cost for maintaining the death penalty in California will climb to $9 billion by 2030. Mitchell has practiced in major law firms in New York and Los Angeles, focusing on environmental and commercial litigation and appeals in federal and state courts. She is admitted to practice in California, New York, the District of Columbia and before various circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court. THIS JUST IN—MITCHELL WILL NOT ATTEND PANEL DISCUSSION.

During his 1992-2000 tenure as district attorney, Garcetti emphasized prosecution of family violence, stalking, hate crimes, welfare and workers compensation fraud, gang violence, truancy and child-support violations. He created a number of new programs to stiffen enforcement in those areas, including Family Violence Division, Stalking and Threat Assessment Team, Bureau of Community Relations and Youth Services, Hate Crimes Unit, High-Tech Crimes Unit, Welfare Fraud Division and Real Estate Fraud Section.

Stacy L. Mallicoat , CSUF associate professor of criminal justice, will moderate the discussion.

Event sponsors are CSUF Associated Students Inc.; Division of Politics, Administration and Justice; and the Office of Government Relations.

Parking on campus is $2 per hour or $8 for a daily permit. Details are available online.

For more information, visit or call 657-278-7036.

Media Contacts:

Frances Teves, Government Relations, 657-278-5188
Stacy L. Mallicoat, Criminal Justice, 657-278-2132
Mimi Ko Cruz, Media Relations, 657-278-7586

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