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Executions in California May be Stopped

photograph from Law & Government story

(12/13/2005)

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Not long ago a criminal was killed. He was executed by the State of California. Some people thought it was wrong. There were many stories about it in newspapers and on TV. These stories made people think California needs a new law.

The new law would stop executions until 2009. It would allow time to finish a report in 2008. It might say that the law should change. But if the law does not change, there could be executions in 2009.

In the last 30 years, courts said the death penalty was wrong more than 100 times. People who want the new law are worried. They are afraid that the state could kill the wrong people. They say California might have the same problems as other states. In other states, people were killed when they should not have been. They were killed because of their race or because they had bad lawyers. Some people say California should stop all executions. They should do this until they are sure they are right.

Other people do not agree. These people say that there is nothing wrong with what they are doing now. They say California is more careful than anyone.

The State of California has killed 12 criminals since 1992. There are now 640 people waiting for execution in California jails.

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