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Death Penalty Reforms Sought

A group of Republican lawmakers and the California District Attorneys Association are pushing reforms aimed at speeding up the death penalty process. And they're prepared to take the measure to the b

A group of Republican lawmakers and the California District Attorneys Association are pushing reforms aimed at speeding up the death penalty process.  And they're prepared to take the measure to the ballot if they aren't successful in the legislature.  From Sacramento, Marianne Russ reports.

Patricia Winter's sister Christina was killed 20 years ago by a man stealing the rims from her truck.  The murderer was sentenced to die, but Winter says  he's still on death row, awaiting appeals. 

Winter: Because of the endless delays in the process carrying out the sentence rendered by the court, the tactics of endless unjustified delays in capitol punishment cases are putting my family through further misery by stalling the process of justice.

Winter supports the package of bills that would set specific timelines for how quickly an inmate is appointed a defense attorney, or corrections are made to the court record. 

Backers say instead of the 15-20 years it now takes, the process would last 5-10 years.  But Stefanie Faucher with the anti-death penalty group death penalty focus says it's ridiculous to suggest speeding up the process when the state can't handle its cases now.