October 4, 2012
We have in the past discussed the career of the late Supreme Court Justice Stanley Mosk, who passed away in 2001. So we read with interest an article about him in this month’s issue of California Lawyer. The article by historian Jacqueline Braitman, Ph.D., and Supreme Court-watcher Professor Gerald Uelmen of Santa Clara Law School, examines Justice Mosk’s attitudes toward California’s death penalty during his long and storied career as the Governor’s executive secretary, a Superior Court judge, state Attorney General and, finally, a justice of the California Supreme Court. The focus of the article is Justice Mosk’s judicial restraint in upholding judgments of death despite his personal moral opposition to the death penalty.
The article is particularly timely given the presence on the November ballot of Proposition 34, which would abolish the death penalty in California and replace it with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. We most recently discussed Proposition 34 here, in connection with the LACBA Appellate Courts Section’s upcoming October 10 program discussing the ballot measure.