From afar, California in a presidential election year is defined by and largely written off because of its color: not golden but deep, Democratic blue. This perception, however, doesn't do justice to the contests taking place in the state.
Over the last several months, readers have sent The Times hundreds of letters weighing the 11 initiatives on the Nov. 6 ballot. The discussion has been spirited, especially on Proposition 30 (Gov. Jerry Brown's tax increase) and Proposition 34 (which would do away with the death penalty). Not surprisingly, those letters have drawn more letters.
More than a dozen readers responded to two recent election-related letters in The Times — a former L.A. County deputy district attorney's defense of the death penalty and a libertarian think-tank lawyer's case for keeping an out-of-state campaign donor anonymous. Here is a selection of those rebuttals.
—Paul Thornton, letters editor
Richard de la Sota, a former L.A. County deputy district attorney, argues that we need the death penalty to punish people already serving life terms who murder while in prison. He assumes the death penalty will actually be imposed. But in California, it won't be.