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Kamala Harris to appeal court ruling against death penalty

"I am appealing the court's decision because it is not supported by the law, and it undermines important protections that our courts provide to defendants," Harris said.
By Veronica Linares   |   Aug. 22, 2014 at 10:25 AM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Thursday she'd be appealing a federal judge's decision declaring California's enforcement of the death penalty unconstitutional.

In her statement, Harris said the court's decision "is not supported by the law and it undermines important protections that our courts provide to defendants."

U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney ruled in July that decades-long delays and uncertainty for inmates waiting to be executed violated the Eighth Amendment's protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

He added that more than 900 people have been sentenced to death in California since 1978, but only 13 have been executed. No executions have taken place in California since 2006 and in order to deplete California's current death row, the state would have to execute 1 person a week for the next 14 years.

Harris said Carney's ruling was "flawed" and that it "requires appellate review."

While Harris opposes the death penalty herself, she promised voters she would enforce it. The LA Times reports she will file her appeal with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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