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California's Supreme Court undercuts a key part of Prop 66

by Take Two®

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This undated photo shows the death chamber at the Georgia Diagnostic Prison in Jackson, GA. The California Supreme Court on Aug. 24 upheld a ballot measure narrowly approved by voters to change the state's death penalty system and speed up executions. Georgia Department of Corrections/Getty Images

When voters approved Proposition 66 last November, it was meant to fast track the appeals process for death row inmates and executions. 

But after Thursday's decision from the California Supreme Court, that may no longer be the case.

So what does that mean for California inmates on death row? 

Scott Shafer is the Senior Editor for KQED's Politics and Government desk.

"One of the key portions of Proposition 66 was that it was going to limit the appeals process, really what bogged down these death sentences. Sometimes these appeals drag on for decades. And so what voters ... thought they were voting for with Prop 66, was to limit those appeals to five years, telling the courts that all of these legal deals had to be wrapped up in 5 years. The Supreme Court yesterday, with a five to two decision, said, 'Well that's really kind of a goal. It's not mandatory, there's no penalty we're not going to enforce it.' That takes away a lot of teeth from Prop 66. That said, they did allow other parts of Prop 66 which should also expedite the process [for death row inmates]." 

Quote has been edited for clarity.

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