California attorney general defends death penalty

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – California’s attorney general has filed court papers defending the constitutionality of the state’s death penalty.

Attorney General Kamala Harris on Monday urged the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court decision invalidating the state’s death penalty.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in July tossed out the death penalty of Ernest Jones, a Los Angles man convicted in 1995 of raping and murdering his girlfriend’s mother two years earlier. Carney says it takes too long to carry executions in California.

Since the current death penalty system was adopted 35 years ago, more than 900 people have been sentenced to death but only 13 have been executed.

Harris argued that “it takes time” to execute a death row inmate because of legal procedures and protections they invoke.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: KUSI