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Executions Could Resume After California Supreme Court Decision on Proposition 66


(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The California Supreme Court decided Thursday that a key provision in last year’s ballot measure to speed executions failed to impose strict deadlines for resolving death penalty appeals.

Proposition 66, sponsored by prosecutors and passed by 51% of voters, was intended to remove various hurdles that have prevented the state from executing an inmate in more than 10 years.

Thursday’s ruling left most of the initiative intact, leading one of the sponsors to predict that executions would resume in months.

But the decision, signed by five of the seven justices, construed the measure’s requirement that death penalty appeals must be decided within five years as “directive,” not mandatory.

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