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Politics

Lawmakers Reject Plan To Streamline California Death Penalty

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The gurney inside the lethal injection chamber at San Quentin State Prison. (CBS)

The gurney inside the lethal injection chamber at San Quentin State Prison. (CBS)

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SAN MATEO (KCBS) – Tuesday was an emotional day in Sacramento, where a Senate public safety committee rejected measures to streamline the death penalty process.

Senate Bill 15-14, authored by Senator Joel Anderson, was the main legislation before a Senate Public Safety Committee. It would have eliminated the “automatic” appeal of every death penalty case.

”Combined, California death row inmates have been waiting for over 10,472 years for execution,” said Anderson.

The most vocal supporter of a streamlined process was Marc Klaas, whose daughter Polly was murdered in 1993.

Dan Felizatto of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, who opposed the measure, said that there is a reason for the delay.

”The defendants do not have attorneys appointed for them,” said Felizatto. “This bill does nothing to resolve that problem.”

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

That prompted Marc Klaas, whose 12-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted and murdered by Richard Allen Davis in 1993, to lash out.

”We have 170,000 practicing lawyers in California, and only 100 of them are qualified to hear death penalty appeals?” said Klaas.

Klaas angrily yelled at committee members, saying “You people don’t care about my daughter.”

Davis has been on a death row longer than Polly Klaas was alive.

The committee rejected both measures.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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