Ballot measure: Proposition 34

The measure would abolish the death penalty in California and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The campaign in support of the measure is now running a 30-second TV ad in major media markets in the state.

What's the claim?

The ad, narrated by actor Martin Sheen, focuses on the story of Franky Carillo, a Los Angeles man cleared last year of a murder after he spent 20 years in prison. It suggests that keeping the death penalty risks the possible execution of the innocent.

Is it true?

The ad's depiction of Carillo's case is accurate, but the ad is slightly misleading because Carillo's case was never a death penalty case -- something not mentioned in the ad. Carillo was a juvenile at the time he was charged, so he never faced the possibility of execution. The ad underscores the trouble death penalty foes have had finding a case in which someone on California's death row was later determined to be innocent.

-- Howard Mintz, Staff