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CA Death Penalty Measures Defeated in Committee: East County Magazine reports Senator Joel Anderson's (R-Alpine) two death penalty related measures were defeated in the Senate Public Safety Committee in Sacramento last week. The first, SB 1514, would have eliminated the automatic appeal process of each death penalty case in California. The second, Senate Constitutional Amendment 20, would have required that any appeals of death penalty cases would go to the State Court of Appeal rather than the California Supreme Court.

CA Prison Overhaul Said to Save State $1.5 Billion Annually: Don Thompson of the Associated Press reports California prison officials released a prison reorganization plan Monday which calls for stopping a $4 billion prison construction program and bringing all inmates held out of state back into California. The plan comes in the wake of a declining state prison population and in the hopes of cutting billions in spending while complying with inmate health care court orders. However, prison officials have acknowledged that the June 2013 deadline for reducing California's prison population will not be met. The corrections department will ask federal judges to allow the state to house an additional 6,000 inmates, which exceeds the judicial panel's inmate limit. California has leeway to negotiate the final inmate count, though it will have to demonstrate why the population cap set is wrong. If the court rejects the higher population, prison officials will keep housing the inmates in private out of state prisons, continuing to cost California $318 million a year. The CDCR's press release is here.

Death Penalty Repeal Carries Political Risk for Connecticut Governor:
Shannon Young of the Associated Press reports Connecticut's Governor
Dannel P. Malloy says he will sign the repeal of Connecticut's death penalty into law despite a lack of public support. Tom C. Foley, the Republican candidate who ran against Malloy in the 2010 gubernatorial election, pointed to recent Quinnipiac University polls which suggest majority support for the death penalty in Connecticut. "Anytime you implement policies that a large majority of people don't support, your chances of being re-elected will diminish," he said. Foley also pointed out a possible public backlash if the 11 inmates currently on death row that are not affected by the repeal use it as a new means for appeal, and criticized Malloy for putting his own convictions against the death penalty above those of a majority of polled Connecticut residents who are still in favor of capital punishment. "I'm representing the people who agree with me," Malloy said.

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