Talk:California Proposition 34, the End the Death Penalty Initiative (2012)

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California Prop. 34's heading is inaccurate because it suggests that "the End the Death Penalty Initiative" is the proposed law's proper name

This is a continuation from a discussion had over email and on Polycal's Talk page. Polycal, if you'd like to change the title to the official title from the secretary of state, please do. The title of the page should be Proposition 34, Death Penalty. Initiative Statute. My concern is that the way you've titled it, the "End the Death Penalty Initiative" appears to be a proper name. It is not the initiative's proper name. The initiative's proper name is the SAFE California Act. When some blogs and other media use Ballotpedia as a source, they list Prop. 34's proper name specifically as "the End the Death Penalty Act." This is INACCURATE and could be confusing to voters, who have been reading about the SAFE California Act in the press and on the Secretary of State's website for months. Please see here, for one example of an inaccuracy:

Please see here for a sampling of press and op eds referring to the initiative as the SAFE California Act:,0,4948500.story

Also, when it's passed, it will be chaptered into law as the SAFE California Act.

Just so it's totally clear, I am an intern on the SAFE California Campaign (as my username indicates). I believe that replacing the death penalty with life in prison without parole will absolutely be the best thing for California. However, my contribution to this ballotpedia article is intended only to correct inaccuracies.

Safecainterns 13:19, 17 August 2012 (CDT)

Check out Writing:Naming a ballot measure article. Your argument is that statewide California ballot proposition articles ought to be in the form "Proposition 34. Death Penalty. Initiative Statute". We have never followed that naming convention. We follow a naming convention that provides a short, neutral description of what the ballot proposition would do if it passed and that makes it the most likely that readers will identify the article as being about the subject they were interested in. The links you provide give no reason to think that anyone has been led into the path of confusion by the naming conventions we do use. Dozens and dozens of newspaper articles in and out of California have used terminology to describe for their readers what Proposition 34 will accomplish. They use words like "abolish the death penalty", "repeal the death penalty", "eliminate the ultimate punishment", "abolish the death penalty", "death penalty ban" (dead link), "repeal the death penalty" and "the anti-death penalty measure", among others. I could cite and link to dozens more. The great majority of articles in California newspapers written by seasoned, experienced newspaper writers and edited by seasoned, experienced editors do not refer to the measure by your preferred name, "SAFE California" or variants thereof. It seems implausible to me to believe that they are misleading their readers, or that their readers would feel that they have in any way been misled, by journalistic overviews of Proposition 34 that indicate, through use of terms like "abolish", "end" or "ban" that what Proposition 34 does is end the death penalty. Polycal 12:36, 18 August 2012 (CDT)
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