Federal court rules California’s death penalty unconstitutional

See the original posting on The Verge

A federal judge in Orange County, California today struck down the state’s death penalty, arguing that the system is so fractured, it violates the state’s constitution.

Filed today by US District Judge Cormac J. Carney in the Central District of California, today’s opinion — posted here by KWMU — explains that more than 900 people have been sentenced to death in California since 1978, but only 13 have been executed.

The ruling ruled not based on the idea that the death penalty itself is unconstitutional, but rather that the delays and uncertainty constitute cruel and unusual punishment. For the hundreds of prisoners on death row, the opinion reads, “the dysfunctional administration of California’s death penalty system has resulted, and…

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