Attorney General No.


Secretary of State No.



DEATH PENALTY APPEALS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Measure creates Death Penalty Panel consisting of 5 randomly selected court of appeal justices to decide appeals, writs and stay requests in cases of murder conviction with a death sentence. Justices serve two-year terms; consecutive terms prohibited. Panel may request California Supreme Court review of questions of law. Allows overturning of death sentence only on clear and convincing evidence of substantial prejudicial error. Requires cases be decided within 12 months of sentencing, except when one 60-day continuance granted. Affirmed death sentences must be carried out within 30 days unless there is a federal appeal. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: The net fiscal impact of the measure is unknown. The measure would result in both costs and savings. The creation of the Death Penalty Panel will increase the workload of the courts of appeal, resulting in additional costs. These costs could be partially offset by savings resulting from reductions to the California Supreme Court's workload. The net costs are unknown. To the extent the measure expedites death penalty cases, the State could incur savings resulting from shorter periods of incarceration for prison inmates ultimately executed. The amount of savings, if any, is unknown.


Steven L. Wessels, 2209 J Street, Sacramento, Ca 95816-4711 (916) 446-6076



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