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Cal. Death Penalty Bill Shelved

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Don Thompson reports for AP:

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--A legislative committee has shelved consideration of a bill that would have asked voters to close California's death row and replace capital punishment with life prison terms.

State Sen. Loni Hancock says she is disappointed. But she couldn't find the nine votes she needed to get SB490 out of the 17-member Assembly Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

The Democrat from Berkeley promised to keep lobbying lawmakers to pass her bill next year.
Seasoned political observers are generally aware that soft-on-crime bills are much less likely to pass in even-numbered years.

The lawmakers' decision came as Gov. Jerry Brown voiced support for putting "deep, troublesome issues" like capital punishment to a vote of the people.
Great.  Let's put to a vote of the people all the reforms that would have cut delays and costs that we have introduced year after year and that legislative committees have killed year after year and never allowed to get the floor for a vote.

Hancock's legislation was partly based on a recent study that found California has spent $184 million a year on death penalty cases and incarceration, yet very few condemned inmates are put to death.
And why do we incarcerate death row inmates for 20 years at great expense?  Because legislators like Hancock have killed the reforms.

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