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Where Does California’s Death Penalty Stand?

Spotlight On California's Death Penalty


Alex Simpson, California Innocence Project, California Western School of Law

Dan Eaton, constitutional law attorney, Seltzer, Caplan, McMahon & Vitek


The acceptance of a San Diego case for review by the U.S. Supreme Court has inadvertently put the spotlight once again on the death penalty in California. The high court will review a ruling by the 9th circuit Court of Appeals that overturned the conviction of Hector Ayala. He was found guilty of a 1985 triple murder in San Diego and sentenced to death. The appeals court said the absence of black and Hispanic jurors was possibly race-based.

And the larger issue of the legality of California's death penalty is also in litigation. California's attorney general, Kamala Harris, is appealing a ruling that found long delays make the state's capital punishment law unconstitutional.

RELATED: List of California inmates currently on death row

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