• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Death-penalty initiative signatures submitted

California voters could decide the fate of more of than 700 criminals currently locked up on death row.

March 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A movement is underway to abolish the death penalty in California. Backers say they have gathered enough voter signatures needed to put the issue on the November ballot.

The initiative replaces the death penalty with a life sentence without parole. It would apply retroactively to those on death row and require convicted killers to work behind bars.

Supporters say it would save California tens of millions of dollars each year.

Opponents of the initiative, including the California District Attorneys Association, say the death penalty deters crime and commuting sentences is unfair to victims' families.