California Supreme Court Justice Blasts Death Penalty System

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California Supreme Court justice says the death penalty system in the nation’s most populous state is dysfunctional, expensive and doesn’t deliver justice in a timely way.

Associate Justice Goodwin Liu made the comments in an unusual opinion issued Thursday after the court unanimously upheld Thomas Potts’ death sentence. He was convicted of killing an elderly couple in 1997.

But Liu wrote separately to express his concerns about the state of the death penalty system in California. Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar joined him in the opinion.

Liu also said a 2016 ballot measure approved by voters to speed up executions wouldn’t work without more funding.

The opinion comes two weeks after Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom placed a moratorium on executions in the state. California hasn’t executed anyone since 2006.

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