Santa Clara University School of Law professor Ellen Kreitzberg appeared on KQED’s The California Report to comment on death penalty reform. The segment, For Some, Fixing the Death Penalty Means Speeding Up Executions, examines Proposition 66, legislation that would effectively shorten the amount of time between sentencing and execution.
From the segment:
“It’s unconscionable that it should take 25 to 30 years, and that individuals are dying on death row of natural causes, when a jury has said that this (death) is an appropriate sentence for very rare circumstances,” says Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert. She thinks Proposition 66 will help deliver more timely justice to crime victims.
Of course not everyone agrees.
“That initiative is a false promise of expediting death sentences,” says Santa Clara University Law School professor Ellen Kreitzberg. She supports Proposition 62, a competing measure to end the death penalty.
“The danger with Proposition 66,” she says, “is it does limit and narrow the ability to present newly discovered evidence, which is how most of these innocence claims are presented in court.”
She and other critics of Proposition 66 think speeding up the appeals process could lead to a catastrophic mistake in California — like executing an innocent person.