California passes death penalty reform to speed executions


LOS ANGELES (AP) — California voters have decided to repair the state’s dysfunctional death penalty by speeding up appeals.

A measure to reform capital punishment continued to hold a 51 percent margin of support Tuesday after two weeks of counting millions of ballots in a contentious race that also saw voters reject a dueling measure to end executions.

Supporters of both measures had agreed the current system was broken. California has only executed 13 of the more than 900 killers sent to death row since 1978.

The last execution by lethal injection was more than a decade ago.

Supporters say the measure will clear the way for executions to resume next year.

Opponents who say Proposition 66 will wreak havoc on courts have already asked the state Supreme Court to block it.

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