Walk protesting death penalty heads through East Bay 

Protesters against the death penalty will begin the Contra Costa County leg of a 500-mile walk from San Diego to the state capitol today with a noon rally at the Contra Costa Superior Court in Richmond.

The event is one part of a walk that began Sept. 15 in Southern California and has continued with participants walking several days at atime and then staying in hotels and with friends to rest, according to organizers.

The protesters hope to encourage district attorneys to avoid seeking the death penalty. In a statement released by the organization, "When district attorneys pursue death sentences, the lengthy and complex legal proceedings not only perpetuate the suffering of the survivors, but also focus all the attention on the accused instead of the victims."

Organizers from sponsoring groups, including Death Penalty Focus, Amnesty International, California People of Faith Working Against the Death Penalty, and the American Civil Liberties Union, estimate that between 10 and 15 people walk at a time during portions of the trip.

The walk will end at the state Capitol building in Sacramento. Organizers hope their efforts will grant them a meeting with State Attorney General Jerry Brown to discuss the end to capital punishment.

Walkers participating today will meet for a rally at noon at the Contra Costa Superior Court, at 100 37th St., Richmond.

— Bay City News

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