Death penalty ruling: California Death Penalty Ruling

Published: November 13, 2015

Death penalty ruling: California Death Penalty Ruling, In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the argument on a technicality that it did not address the question of whether life on death row in California constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

Lawyers who argued on both sides of the case said the appellate ruling was decided on largely technical grounds and leaves unanswered the larger question of whether lengthy delays are unconstitutional.

“The elephant is still in the room,” said John Phillipsborn, a San Francisco lawyer who intervened in the case on behalf of criminal defense lawyers in California.

The idea that death row inmates’ sentences have been transformed from one of death to one of “grave uncertainty and torture” has “no support” in legal precedent, “nor is it supported by logic,” the judges wrote in the decision.

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney had ruled on July 16, 2014, that the system was unconstitutional, saying it was arbitrary and plagued by delays.

The case in question involved death row inmate Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was sentenced to die nearly two decades ago.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge in 1995 sentenced Jones to death for the 1992 rape and killing of Julia Miller, his girlfriend’s mother. Jones, who had served time for a previous rape, killed Miller 10 months after being paroled.

Carney, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, said delays had created a “system in which arbitrary factors, rather than legitimate ones, like the nature of the crime or the date of the death sentence, determine whether an individual will actually be executed.”


Please feel free to send if you have any questions regarding this post , you can contact on



Comments are closed.

Copyright ©2010-15 AP - United States America