"California Death Penalty Process Reform Advocates File Ballot Initiative," is by Max Pringle of Sacramento's Capital Public Radio.
A coalition of California district attorneys, victims’ rights groups and law enforcement officials have submitted a ballot initiative to the state attorney general’s office that would overhaul the death row process.
Under the initiative, death penalty cases would no longer automatically be appealed to the state supreme court – where they can sit unheard for years. They would instead go first to state courts of appeal.
The measure’s supporters say it would also end the housing of inmates in single cells at San Quentin’s death row.
“By allowing the department of corrections to place these inmates wherever is best on an individual basis, we can avoid unnecessary expense,” says Kent Scheidegger with the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.
But, opponents disagree. They say life sentences without parole are much less wasteful and costly.
If backers gather enough signatures, the measure could appear on next fall’s ballot.
Earlier coverage of the proposed ballot initiative begins at the link.