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Silicon Valley Elite Backing Anti Death Penalty Proposition

SAN JOSE (KCBS) - Some of the more high-profile members of Silicon Valley's social and financial scenes are writing big checks in support of the proposition that would abolish capital punishment in California, dwarfing the opposition's fundraising in the process.

According to a published report, among those who have contributed to the Yes on 34 campaign: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, actor Ed Asner, and rocker Jackson Browne.

Six-figure donations were also linked to at least one Google executive, a Stanford University professor, and a philanthropy group run by Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs.

To date, the Yes on 34 campaign has raised $5.4 million, whereas the pro-death penalty camp has raised an estimated $200,000.

KCBS' Matt Bigler Reports:

Pundits are quick to point out that a bigger war chest doesn't necessarily translate into a victory on election day.

"Historically, Californians have been very favorable towards the death penalty," pointed out KCBS political analyst and SJSU political science professor Larry Gerston. "All the polls have shown this. And it's hard to believe, not impossible, but hard to believe that Californians would change their minds on this issue, even in 2012."

Supporters of the proposition say the death penalty is too slow and expensive. Opponents argue that capital punishment is appropriate for the state's worst criminals.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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