Last week, a federal judge in California ruled that California’s death penalty is unconstitutional. In Judge Cormac Carney’s opinion, he wrote, “Inordinate and unpredictable delay has resulted in a death penalty system in which very few of the hundreds of individuals sentenced to death have been, or even will be, executed by the state.” Carney’s ruling was based on the inefficiency of the death penalty system. For justice to be effective, it must be swift. The death penalty is not swift, but rather a long-winded, misguided process. The delays are “inordinate and unpredictable,” which Carney said violates the Eighth Amendment’s cruel and unusual punishment tenet. As we know, the death penalty isn’t just dysfunctional in California. The death penalty is a dysfunctional system nationwide. The ruling in California represents a growing dialogue around a system that is broken beyond repair. The death penalty can be history in every state. Let’s make Nebraska next.
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