Opponents of the death penalty have turned in 800,000 signatures in an effort to qualify a repeal initiative for the November ballot, reports the Daily Journal. The number is well above the 504,000 required by the Secretary of State's office and will now proceed to verification.
Supporters of the SAFE California Act say a repeal of capital punishment would save the state hundreds of millions of dollars, the first $100 million of which should go towards solving murder and rape cases. The death penalty, they argue should be replaced by life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Nearly a quarter or the courts' time is spent reviewing death penalty cases. The review and appeals routinely span decades, and no one has been executed since 2006, when a federal judge set a moratorium to review the constitutionality of the lethal injection process. Recent polls showed a majority of voters still support capital punishment.