District attorneys in California want to streamline appeals process in death penalty cases

A coalition of California district attorneys want to streamline the appeals process in death penalty cases.

Right now, death penalty verdicts are automatically appealed to the state supreme court.

The DAs want those appeals to go to go to the state court of appeals.

Kern County district attorney Lisa Green said its not unheard of for an inmate to sit on death row for 25 years while appeals are being heard.

Green said, "The average case takes five years for an attorney to be appointed."

Local criminal defense attorney Richard Terry said, "The plan doesn’t even address the real problem which they say is the lack of defense attorneys qualified to handle death penalty cases."

The ballot initiative has been submitted to the state attorney general and if approved would appear on the 2014 ballot.


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