Now in California: Streamlined Executions

Opponents of the newly passed Proposition 66 say it's unconstitutional
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2016 10:11 AM CST
Now in California: Streamlined Executions
This Sept. 21, 2010, file photo, shows the interior of the lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

The Election Day count is finally complete, and California voters have approved a measure aimed at speeding up executions for those on death row, the Los Angeles Times reports. Proposition 66 is designed to make the legal process more efficient by providing a bigger pool of lawyers to handle cases, allowing trial court judges to handle appeals, and placing a five-year cap on having appeals heard. It passed with 51% of support, reports the AP. "Voters want to ensure that victims' families receive the justice they want and deserve," said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who added that prisoners' rights will be protected.

In a legal petition filed the day after the election, however, opponents said that the proposition would worsen the "extreme expense" of state taxpayers, especially since there's no funding mechanism specified, and that the new appeals process would infringe on constitutional rights, the Times reports. "What 66 is saying is we are going to keep the case in the lower court, and those same eyes that convicted the defendant are going to review the appeal," says one petitioner. What didn't pass in California on Election Day: Proposition 62, which would have replaced the death penalty for murder with life in prison without parole. (More California stories.)

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