Scott Marks 2:48 p.m., May 23
No on Dead Men Walking: Ex-Con Millionaire Staging Celebrity Bash Against Capital Punishment
La Jolla's favorite former superlawyer Bill Lerach, who did a stretch in a Federal penitentiary after pleading guilty in a kickback case, is throwing a star-studded party to raise money for the so-called SAFE California Act, a measure on November's ballot that would eliminate the state's death penalty.
"SAFECalifornia is a ballot initiative that will replace the death penalty with life in prison with no possibility of parole, saving our state billions of dollars and making our communities safer and stronger," says an invitation to the July 28 event, which promoters are touting as "a Very Special Summer Evening on the Pacific."
"Special Guests" for the fundraiser include actors Mike Farrell and Shelley Fabares.
"Best known for his role on MASH, Mr. Farrell has served as President of Death Penalty Focus for over 10 years. He is a long time human rights activist, along with his wife and actress, Shelley Fabares," the invite says.
Also on the bill: James Oliver Cromwell, an "Oscar nominee and longtime progressive advocate...best known for his roles in L.A. Confidential, Star Trek, and The Green Mile. Most recently, he has starred in Six Feet Under and the critically-acclaimed 2011 movie, The Artist."
Others set to attend are Jeanne Woodford, a former San Quentin warden who "oversaw four executions" and Franky Carrillo, who, the invitation says, was wrongly convicted of murder at 16 and did almost twenty years in prison before being exonerated last year.
Admission costs $250 per person, $450 per couple.
"If you would prefer to particpate in a more intimate discussion," the invite adds, "please ask about the very special dinner opportunity on Friday, July 27th."
Those who come up with the bucks will be able to consume "Cocktails and hors d'eouvres" and admire the "Stunning Gardens and Renowned Art Collection" of Lerach and his wife, lawyer Michelle Ciccarelli.
Since his release from prison two years ago, Lerach has frequently hosted political fundraisers at his La Jolla Farms mansion, most recently a $500 a head "V.I.P. Reception" and an "Art and Garden" tour of the estate in May for Democratic congressman Bob Filner, who is running for mayor against GOP city councilman Carl DeMaio.
Another wealthy La Jollan against capital punishment is Qualcomm billionaire Irwin Jacobs, who gave $10,000 to the SAFE measure's campaign in April.