Federal Judge Rules California Death Penalty is Unconstitutional

Source: MAURA DOLAN /LATimes

A George W. Bush appointed federal judge in Orange County ruled Wednesday that California’s death penalty violates the U.S. Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney, ruled on a petition by death row inmate Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was sentenced to die nearly two decades ago.He noted that more than 900 people have been sentenced to death in California since 1978 but only 13 have been executed.

“For the rest, the dysfunctional administration of California’s death penalty system has resulted, and will continue to result, in an inordinate and unpredictable period of delay preceding their actual execution,” Carney wrote.  Further Carney added California has created a “system in which arbitrary factors, rather than legitimate ones like the nature of the crime or the date of the death sentence, determine whether an individual will actually be executed.”

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