(NEW YORK) – A federal judge, U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney, today struck down California's death penalty law, saying the practice was unconstitutional and that the delays facing death row inmates make the punishment arbitrary. Today's decision follows a continuing trend against the practice, including the passage of last year's capital punishment abolition legislation in Maryland.
The following statement can be attributed to Amnesty International USA executive director, Steven W. Hawkins:
"I'm hopeful that this decision will quicken the gathering momentum toward abolishing this cruel, inhuman and degrading practice in the United States once and for all. More than a third of U.S. states have now abolished capital punishment and we will not rest until the remaining follow suit. The U.S. cannot be a country that truly values human rights as long as it continues to execute prisoners."
Get the latest news, statistics and action items on Amnesty USA's Abolish the Death Penalty landing page.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.