Capitol Alert

Jackson Browne to play anti-death penalty show in Sacramento

Jackson Browne performs a solo acoustic concert Friday, March 26, 2004 at the Sacramento Community Center.
Jackson Browne performs a solo acoustic concert Friday, March 26, 2004 at the Sacramento Community Center. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Hoping the California death penalty is running on empty? This is the concert for you.

Advocates of Proposition 62, which would repeal capital punishment in California, have enlisted Jackson Browne to play a benefit show at Sacramento’s Crest Theatre on Oct. 26. Browne will also play a benefit concert in San Diego on Oct. 24.

“I wanted my audience to know that I feel strongly about it ... I want people to pay attention,” Browne said in an interview. “We have to ban the death penalty in California – I think that would be very influential for the rest of the country.”

Beyond the cost of enforcing the death penalty and its function of condoning state-sanctioned violence, Browne said, he was motivated to take a stand by conversations with people who were convicted and later exonerated.

“I’ve become aware over the years of how flawed our justice system is and how necessary it is to have laws that are fair, that are above reproach,” Browne said. “My most fundamental objection is in taking a human life, there’s so many innocent people who are in jail.”

Tickets for the Sacramento show run from $65 to $75 a pop – with the proceeds flowing into the campaign’s coffers – and can be purchased online. Supporters of the measure have so far out-raised those who would preserve the death penalty.

Browne isn’t the first celebrity to throw in for the cause. Former “M.A.S.H.” star Mike Farrell serves as the initiative’s key proponent, denouncing the death penalty as inhumane and racist.

Voters face divergent death penalty choices this November. For those who support executing the worst of the worst, which California has not done since 2006, Proposition 66 offers to expedite the process by curbing appeals. That measure’s star proponent is former pro football player Kermit Alexander.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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