A federal judge in California ruled Wednesday that the state’s death penalty is unconstitutional. California put a moratorium on the death penalty in 2006 and hasn’t executed anyone since. There are 748 people on death row. In his decision, Judge Cormac J. Carney of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California vacated the 1995 death sentence of Ernest Jones.
California has not executed anyone since 2006, when a U.S. district court judge decided to block the execution of a convicted murderer because of concerns over the administration of lethal injection. And Carney’s ruling can be appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Through a spokesman, California Attorney General Kamala Harris said she is “reviewing the ruling.” A spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections did not immediately respond for comment.
ACLU of Northern California Associate Director Natasha Minsker, who is not directly involved in the case but following it closely, tweeted as she read the ruling, citing the judge who said the current system is plagued by delay and violates the Eighth Amendment.
More to come as this story develops.
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