Does California Have The Death Penalty?

Was the death penalty abolished and later reinstated in California?

To my knowledge, they attempted to give Charles Manson the death sentence for his crimes but California abolished the death penalty before it could happen. Now I see that capital punishment is still in effect in the state. Was it reinstated?

The foregoing answers are mostly wrong, because this has nothing to do with federal rulings. Charles Manson did get the death penalty in 1971, but the death penalty was declared unconstitutional under the CALIFORNIA Constitution in People v. Anderson (1972) 6 Cal.3d 628, which commuted all existing death verdicts, including Manson's, to life in prison. Although a later constitutional amendment reinstated the death penalty in California, the previously commuted verdicts remained as life in prison.

What are the pros of the California Death Penalty?

What are the pros of the California Death Penalty?

It serves retribuition and revenge.

It gives politicians the chance to show they are tough on crime. In the red hot political climate following a particularly heinous crime, the loudest voices heard are from those who have an eye on their political futures and compete to see who can be the harshest, toughest and most punitive.

The arguments against the death penalty, however, outweigh these, by far. The death penalty isn’t effective in reducing overall crime, costs a whole lot more than life in prison, and, worst of all, risks executions of innocent people.

The California Death Penalty?

I'm doing a research project on the California death penalty, I already know what position I'm going to take in my paper and have found some really good sources. But I was wondering what other people thought about the California death penalty and what you would do to it if given the chance. I was also wondering if anyone knew some really good reliable sources on the subject, preferably peer reviewed journals and not blog opinion pieces. Thanks.

I'm against the death penalty and not because of sympathy for criminals. The death penalty isn’t an effective way to prevent or reduce crime, costs a whole lot more than life in prison, and, worst of all, risks executions of innocent people.

The best place for sources on the death penalty is at Under costs you'll find links to several reports concerning California.

Another good source is at
This is a primary source. It is the report of the The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice. You can download the whole report or click on reports and recommendation to hunt for what you want. The Commission was created by the California State Senate.

Three people sentenced to death in California have been exonerated. An additional 9 men who were convicted and sentenced to long terms (not the death penalty) were found innocent with DNA evidence. Take a look at for information about these cases.
California's criminal justice system, like those in other states, is not immune to the significant risks of executing innocent people.

As you probably know, California has more people on death row than any other state. It hasn't been able to provide lawyers for the mandatory appeals for most of these people. It is contemplating building another death row to house them at a huge cost.

Recently I read an article about the costs of the death penalty in California. One thing that really caught my eye was the costs of trials in death penalty cases. Here's what I found:

People v. Scott Peterson, Death Penalty Trial
$3.2 Million Total

People v. Rex Allen Krebs Death Penalty Trial
$2.8 Million Total

People v. Cary Stayner, Death Penalty Trial
$2.368 Million Total

People v. Robert Wigley, Non-Death Penalty Trial
$454,000 Total


This data is for cases where the best records are kept

Will the murderer of the UK tourists get the death penalty?

Does Shawn Tyson, the 16 year old arrested for the killings of two UK tourists in Florida, deserve the death penalty if convicted. personally I think he will get the death penalty. He killed two men at once and has shamed the US by slaughtering valuable tourists. Is being 16 a barrier to the death penalty in the US? I believe they executed a 16 year old learning difficulties kid. Florida likes the death penalty, they executed Aileen Wournoss and I think there is another woman waiting on death row.

Even though the death penalty was reintroduced in Florida in 2008 those under 18 and the mentally impaired are exempt from capital punishment.
The only alternative is for the Supreme Court to order that he be tried as an adult.

What do these statistics say about the death penalty in the United States?

Texas (414 people on death row), California (648), and Florida (388) have the largest number of people on death row. As of July 1, 2005, Texas has executed 348 people since 1976, Florida 60, and California 11. However, New York still has the death penalty option and 2 people are on death row, yet no one has been executed there since 1976. The Supreme Court has said it is unconstitutional to execute the mentally retarded and people who committed their crimes as juveniles.

You asked about statistics. Turns out that homicide rates are higher in states with the death penalty than in states without it. The most recent FBI confirms this.

No one is on death row in New York. In 2004, the states highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled that the death penalty law was constitutionally flawed, because of the way judges were supposed to instruct jurors. All except one person on death row at the time were resentenced to life without parole and in 2007, the last person on death row was also resentenced to life without parole.
Last year, death row was shut down.

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