California Supreme Court Ruling Could Fast-Track Executions


Publish Date:
August 23, 2017
  • Thanawala, Sudhin,
  • Brian Melley
The Mercury News (AP)
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California could take a giant step closer to resuming executions when the state Supreme Court issues a highly anticipated ruling on a ballot measure to speed up the state’s dysfunctional death penalty system.

The California Supreme Court will rule Thursday on a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 66, a push to “mend not end” capital punishment in California. The measure beat a competing initiative on the November ballot that would have abolished the death penalty.

“I don’t think anybody can actually argue that there’s a positive value in having these cases last for 20 or so years,” said Robert Weisberg, a criminal justice expert at Stanford Law School. “But that’s probably unavoidable because of forces in our legal system that can’t be controlled by a proposition.”

Weisberg said trying to meet the five-year rule would create “incredible chaos” in the court system.

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