Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Jazmine Ulloa and Julie Westfall, The Los Angeles Times

California voters have chosen to approve a ballot proposition that seeks to speed up the death penalty process, a late count of ballots has shown.

Proposition 66 intends to speed up executions by designating trial courts to hear petitions challenging death row convictions, limiting successive petitions and expanding the pool of lawyers who could take on death penalty appeals. As of Monday, the proposition was leading with 51.3% of the vote and on Tuesday, an Associated Press tally of votes found the proposition had received enough votes to pass.

Brian Melley, The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – California voters have decided to repair the state’s dysfunctional death penalty system by passing a measure intended to speed up appeals, uniting with voters in more conservative states that also supported capital punishment.

Proposition 66 continued to hold a 51 percent margin of support Tuesday after two weeks of counting millions of ballots in a contentious race that also saw voters reject a dueling measure to end executions.


Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker, The Los Angeles Times

California’s decision on Nov. 8 to reject Proposition 62 came as no surprise to those of us who study capital punishment. No jurisdiction in human history has ever permanently abolished the death penalty via plebiscite. The reason is simple:  referenda ask voters to respond at the level of symbolism, and voters rarely resist abstract appeals to “law and order.”

If citizens confront the death penalty in concrete context, however, they’re willing to end it.

When, for example, elected representatives consider death penalty legislation and are exposed to weeks or months of testimony on how capital punishment actually works, they — unlike often-impulsive voters at polling stations — sour on the practice. Over the past decade, state legislatures have moved in only one direction on the question of capital punishment.  Six state legislatures have jettisoned the death penalty — New Jersey, New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland, and Nebraska — while none has reinstated it.  Two other state legislatures — New York and Delaware — have declined to revive the death penalty after their highest courts struck it down.