Federal Judge Strikes Down California's Death Penalty

A federal judge has ruled that California's death penalty system is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney handed down an order Wednesday, finding that the system is arbitrary and in violation of the Constitution's 8th Amendment.

More.

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  • briannnnn||

    What does the 8th Amendment of the US Constitution have to do with California?

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    That part of the Eighth has been incorporated.

  • briannnnn||

    Thanks! I was not clear on that.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Seems like this ruling would apply nationally if it holds up.

  • briannnnn||

    That's what I was thinking. It's a federal judge using the US Constitution as a basis.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    It has to go before the Supreme Court, first. Otherwise it just applies to the 9th Circuit.

  • briannnnn||

    Thank you for the clarification

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I'm pretty sure the 5th amendment explicitly allows for capital punishment.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Hmm, the ruling says that it's unconstitutional because CA isn't executing people quickly enough...

  • PapayaSF||

    "California's death penalty system is so plagued by inordinate and unpredictable delay that the death sentence is actually carried out against only a trivial few of those sentenced to death," Carney writes. "For all practical purposes then, a sentence of death in California is a sentence of life imprisonment with the remote possibility of death -- a sentence no rational legislature or jury could ever impose."

    In other words, anti-death penalty types have mucked up the system and gotten what they wanted. See also: nuclear plants being made "uneconomic" by greenies.

  • FYTW||

    Yup. The Cloward-Piven devotees ought to be ecstatic.

  • AlmightyJB||

  • Almanian!||

    That chick's a MAN, man! Yeah, baby!

  • Almanian!||

    Whatevs. Fuck Cali.

  • Michael||

    Since when is the Huffington Post on the roster of contributing editors for Reason? Did I just walk through some kind of space/time wormhole?

  • The Tone Police||

    They've been doing it for a while and it sucks.

  • Seamus||

    "For all practical purposes then, a sentence of death in California is a sentence of life imprisonment with the remote possibility of death -- a sentence no rational legislature or jury could ever impose."

    IOW, California's mistake was not executing enough people. If there were a higher likelihood that a perp would face the needle, then there would be no problem with the irrationality and randomness of the system.

  • Seamus||

    Oops. I see a couple of people have already made that point above.

  • See Double You||

    I go back and forth on the death penalty.

    Some crimes are so beyond the pale (like serial killers) that I feel the only just thing to do is to kill the fuckers.

    Yes, I see all the practical arguments against it (which is I'm wishy washy), but sometimes justice really does demand it. Maybe if there was an even higher standard of proof, like beyond a shadow of a doubt, then the death penalty should be available.

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