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Calif. Chief Justice Says Death Penalty Is No Longer Effective

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s top judge says the state’s capital punishment system is “not effective” and needs an overhaul that the state cannot afford.

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye made her first public comments about the death penalty to the Los Angeles Times in Saturday’s editions. Her comments come as signatures are being collected for a proposed ballot measure to abolish the death penalty.

The Republican appointee and former prosecutor says the state’s death penalty requires “structural change.” She says the state doesn’t have the money to create the kind of change that is needed.

Cantil-Sakauye took over as the state’s top judge in January after serving as trial court judge and appellate jurist since 1990.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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