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Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review

  • Executing the Will of the Voters? A Roadmap To Mend or End the California Legislature’s Multi-Billion-Dollar Death Penalty Debacle

    While this article looks at the death penalty in California, it gives other states good suggestions for dealing with problems in their own death penalty systems. Sections of this paper include: bulldozing barriers and unearthing hidden costs-how much California taxpayers are really paying for the State’s illusory death penalty; paved with good intentions-the legislative history of the death penalty in California; hazardous conditions ahead-potential state and federal constitutional issues arising out of California’s current death penalty scheme; the road not taken-“Remedies” revisited; roadmap for reform; and conclusion. “It is the authors’ view that unless California voters want to tolerate the continued waste of billions of tax dollars on the state’s now-defunct death penalty system, they must either demand meaningful reforms to ensure that the system is administered in a fair and effective manner or, if they do not want to be taxed to fund the needed reforms, they must recognize that the only alternative is to abolish the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole” (p. S41).