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California "Death Penalty Reform and Savings" Initiative (2014)

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A California "Death Penalty Reform and Savings" Initiative (#13-0055) was approved for circulation in California as a contender for the November 4, 2014, ballot as a combined initiated constitutional amendment and state statute.

On May 9, 2014, supporters announced that they would wait until 2016 to try to place the initiative on the ballot.[1]

Text of measure

Ballot title:

Death Penalty. Procedures. Initiative Statutory and Constitutional Amendment.

Official summary:

"Gives state appellate courts jurisdiction over death penalty appeals, before consideration by California Supreme Court. Changes procedures governing state court petitions challenging death penalty convictions and sentences. Designates superior court for initial petitions and limits successive petitions. Imposes time limits on state court death penalty review. Requires appointed attorneys who take noncapital appeals to accept death penalty appeals. Exempts prison officials from existing regulation process for developing execution methods. Authorizes death row inmate transfers among California state prisons. States death row inmates are required to work and pay victim restitution."

Fiscal impact statement:

(Note: The fiscal impact statement for a California ballot initiative authorized for circulation is jointly prepared by the state's Legislative Analyst and its Director of Finance.)

"Increased state costs potentially in the tens of millions of dollars annually for several years related to direct appeals and habeas corpus proceedings, with the fiscal impact on such costs being unknown in the long run. Potential state correctional savings in the tens of millions of dollars annually."






  • Anna Zamora of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California said, "This flawed proposal will only make matters worse. It will create more delays and overburden our already strained court system. Worst of all, it will greatly increase the risk that California could execute an innocent person."[3]

Path to the ballot

See also: Signature requirements for ballot measures in California
  • Kermit Alexander submitted a letter requesting a title and summary on December 12, 2013.
  • A title and summary was issued by the Attorney General of California's office on February 10, 2014.
  • 807,615 valid signatures were required for qualification purposes.
  • Supporters had until July 10, 2014, to collect and submit the required number of signatures, as petition circulators are given 150 days to circulate petitions.
  • The Secretary of State’s suggested signature filing deadline for the November 4, 2014, ballot was April 18, 2014. This means that if supporters had submitted enough valid signatures by July 10 but after April 18, the measure could have been pushed back as far as the next statewide general election, in November 2016.
  • On May 9, 2014, supporters announced that they would hold off getting their initiative on the ballot until 2016.[1]

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