Local News in Brief : Anti-Death Penalty Drive

Standing in front of a life-size photograph of a California prison's gas chamber, former California Gov. Edmund G. (Pat) Brown and a coalition of religious and medical leaders and attorneys announced Friday that they are launching a statewide educational blitz against the death penalty.

Brown, speaking at the gathering at Leo Baeck Temple on the Westside, said the group would raise funds for a public education campaign against the death penalty that will stress that the punishment is more expensive than life imprisonment and does not deter people from committing murder.

"The death penalty doesn't work, and everyone here today is going to do everything possible to prove that to Californians," Brown said.

Brown, who was joined at the press conference by numerous Southern and Northern California religious leaders, said studies in several states have shown that the death penalty has no measurable effect on crime rates.

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