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Court To Hear Challenge To Speed Up California Executions

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The California Supreme Court is set to hear arguments over whether to block a voter-approved measure to speed up executions. The court is hearing a case Tuesday in Los Angeles brought by death penalty foes after voters approved Proposition 66 in November. Capital punishment opponents say the so-called reforms would disrupt courts, cost more money and undermine appeals. Supporters of the measure have called the case a frivolous stall tactic that would maintain a dysfunctional system that hasn’t executed an inmate in more than a decade. The ballot initiative would appoint more appellate lawyers, assign some cases to trial judges and set a five-year deadline to complete state appeals. The ballot measure passed with 51 percent support. A competing measure to repeal capital punishment lost by a slightly wider margin.