A Federal judge in Orange County ruled Wednesday that California’s death penalty violates the U.S. Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney, ruled on a petition by death row inmate Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was sentenced to die nearly two decades ago.
Carney said the state’s death penalty has created long delays and uncertainty for inmates, most of whom will never be executed.
He noted that more than 900 people have been sentenced to death in California since 1978 but only 13 have been executed.
U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney, shown in 2005, ruled Wednesday that California’s death penalty is unconstitutional. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)