California’s Dysfunctional Death Penalty System Ruled Unconstitutional

Originally published on July 22, 2014, at

US District Judge Cormac Carney ruled California’s death penalty unconstitutional in a controversial decision last week. Judge Carney vacated the death sentence of Ernest Dewayne Jones in a desperate attempt to expose and possibly repair California’s dysfunctional death penalty system.

Judge Carney wrote, “In California, the execution of a death sentence is so infrequent, and the delays preceding it so extraordinary, that the death penalty is deprived of any deterrent or retributive effect it might once have had. Such an outcome is antithetical to any civilized notion of just punishment.”

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