December 20, 2016

Proposition 66 stayed

The Supreme Court today stayed “the implementation of all provisions of Proposition 66,” the speed-up-the-death-penalty initiative that passed last month and that could cause unprecedented disruption to California’s judicial system.

A writ petition challenging the new law, and asking for a stay of its enforcement, was filed the day after the election, but the Supreme Court denied the stay request without prejudice to renewing the request after the Secretary of State certified the vote on the initiative.  The certification occurred on Friday.  Yesterday, the challengers — former California Attorney General John Van de Kamp and former death penalty supporter Ron Briggs — submitted an amended and renewed writ petition, again asking for an immediate stay.

With Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Ming Chin recused, the court today granted the stay request “to provide time for further consideration of the amended petition for writ of mandate and to permit the filing and consideration of papers in opposition to the petition.”

Preliminary oppositions to the petition are due by January 9, and the petitioners can file a reply by January 23.

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