As the former executive director of the bipartisan California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice I became intimately familiar with the dysfunction and delays associated with California’s death penalty. Unfortunately, Prop 66 will only make these problems worse. Here’s how:
- Prop 66. forces California to hire hundreds of unqualified attorneys to take high profile death penalty cases and forces these cases on inexperienced judges. These deeply flawed provisions will only lead to costly mistakes and more delay.
- This initiative moves complicated death penalty challenges from the state Supreme Court, to our local county courts, adding more layers of government bureaucracy.
- This risky experiment will disproportionately impact southern California counties because the vast majority of death penalty cases originate from Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange counties
- Prop. 66 will simply spread the dysfunction caused by the overload of death cases to lower appellate courts without relieving the burdens on the Supreme Court. As a result all appeals, both civil and criminal, will be delayed.
Don’t be fooled. Prop. 66 will not speed up the death penalty. It will add more layers of government bureaucracy, causing even more delay.
–Prof. Gerard Uelmen, Santa Clara University School of Law