California voters reject repeal of death penalty

FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2014, file photo, Department of Corrections officials look through a window from the witness room, at right, outside the newly renovated death chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla. Even as President Barack Obama tries to make a hard case for sentencing reform, prisoner rehabilitation and confronting racial bias in policing, he has been less clear about the death penalty. Obama has hinted that his support for capital punishment is eroding, but he has refused to discuss what he might call for. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — California voters decided Tuesday to reject Proposition 62, a measure to repeal the death penalty, and pass Proposition 64, a measure designed to speed it up.

Prop 62, which would have replaced the death penalty with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, was rejected by 54 percent of the voters.

Prop 66, an effort to speed up appeals, passed with 51 percent voter approval.

The reform is intended to expedite death penalty procedures by imposing time limits on reviews, allowing inmates to be transferred between facilities and requiring inmates to work and pay restitution.

Proponents of both measures agreed the current system has failed. More than 900 convicted murderers have been sent to death row since 1978 but only 13 have been executed in the state.

Repeal supporters say their measure would save $150 million and eliminate the chance of someone innocent being executed.

Reform proponents say the worst killers would die and family members of victims would get justice.

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