Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Prop. 66 "will fail to deliver"

Image result for jon b. eisenbergAppellate specialist extraordinaire Jon B. Eisenberg (principal author of the Rutter Guide on California appeals, president of the CAAL, and of counsel w/H&L) has an article in today's DJ titled Death Penalty Initiative Will Fail to Deliver. He begins: "Proposition 66, which California voters passed Nov. 8, was billed as a way to 'speed up' California's broken death penalty system. In reality, it will fail to deliver on that promise and have terrible consequences for the state's entire legal system--it if survives a pending legal challenge." He concludes:
Prop. 66's redirection of death penalty habeas cases to the superior courts will cause systemic delay that impairs all Californians' access to justice. Judges with any experience in murder cases will become entirely focused on death penalty habeas cases. Judges who now handle family court, business disputes, and even traffic violations will have to be reassigned to cover the other work of the criminal courts. Child custody hearings and divorce proceedings will face new delays. Death penalty cases will disrupt and delay thousands of civil cases for years to come, to the detriment of everyday Californians who need access to the courts to vindicate their legal rights and promptly resolve serious and important disputes. 

Just noticed! Yesterday's DJ had an article by retired LASC Judge Lawrence Waddington titled Prop. 66 Provides Long Necessary Improvements in Capital Cases. He concludes: private parties suffer from a murder emotionally, the public suffer financially from irresolution, and a tenured federal court delays by imposing its private opposition to the death penalty. State and federal courts may clash over some of the legislation in Proposition 66, but locally its improvements expediting appeals from convictions and accelerative resolution of petitions seeking habeas corpus are benefits long necessary."