Death penalty reform initiative pushed to 2016

SACRAMENTO (AP) - A coalition of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and crime victims is no longer pushing to put a death penalty reform measure on the November ballot.

Backers of the proposed initiative said Friday they instead plan to wait until 2016 to try to qualify the measure, which would give them more time to raise money and gather signatures.

The initiative would have limited appeals by prisoners facing the death penalty and removed them from special death row housing. Supporters, including three former governors, said the changes were needed to save money and speed up executions.

Critics say the initiative would lead to more delays by sparking new legal challenges.

More than 700 California prisoners are on death row, but the last execution was in 2006 because of lawsuits challenging the drugs used in lethal injections.


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