California Death Penalty Reform Has Been Approved By Voters

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California residents voted in favor of a death penalty reform so as to ensure a better such system.

After two weeks of counting votes, it was determined that California residents voted in favor of a death penalty reform so as to ensure a better such system.

On Tuesday, following two weeks of counting votes, authorities stated that the residents of the state of California voted for and passed ballot Proposition 66.

The respective ballot measure’s target is a reform of the current death penalty system which is still upheld by the state.

Proposition 66 is one of the two targeting the death penalty as Proposition 62 of the same vote meant to repel the death sentence.

As of Tuesday, Prop. 66 still holds a 51 percent support whilst Prop. 62 has been officially repealed.

It is not the first time California residents vote against such a measure. Back in 2012, 52 percent of the voters were against a death sentence repeal measure.

California, together with Nebraska and Oklahoma, are amongst the only states to both vote against a repeal of the measure and to also reinsure its status.

Since the 2000’s, the nationwide trend saw a repeal and a decline in the number of states to adopt or support the capital punishment. A number of 7 states have also judicially or legislatively rejected the sentence.

The Californian death sentence reform Proposition 66 seeks to change the way in which these punishments are handled.

It would see that the way in which appeals are handled is changed. It would seek to involve a higher number of lawyers in such cases.

The Proposition suggests that a certain, specific type of appeals should be presented to the trial court judges. It also proposes an appeal submission deadline of 5 years after the latest sentence.

The current laws have an almost 25 years time before a total exhaustion of the number of appeals is reached.

They also feature a longer time span before a lawyer can be appointed to such a case.

Opponents of the proposition have been stating that the system has irreparable flaws. It also argues that its complete removal would save up to $150 million a year. This is the estimated cost of all the lengthy appeals determined by such sentences.

As the death sentence reform proposition has been officially approved, opponents have already submitted a number of requests.

The opponents of Proposition 66 have asked the California Supreme Court to block the reform from taking place.

They claim that it is a frivolous move that would only cause more chaos in the system and in courtrooms. It also claims that incompetent lawyers could lead to the irreparable conviction of innocents.

Proposition 66 supporters were quick to respond to the opponents’ Supreme Court request. According to them, the measure is just a new way of stalling and causing delays in executions and trials.

A University of California, Berkley law professor, Franklin Zimring, has commented on the subject. According to him, the court appeal is just one of the many more to come.

He also stated that the death sentence reform, which should ensure a smoother system, will most probably lead to new complications and other complex legal issues.

Image Source: Wikimedia

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