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State's Chief Justice Calls For Death Penalty Case Reform, by Crystal Carreon

Publication Date: 
January 11, 2008
Source: 
Sacramento Bee
Author: 
Crystal Carreon

Professor and Associate Dean for Public Interest and Clinical Education Lawrence Marshall is quoted in the Sacramento Bee about Chief Justice Ronald George's call for death penalty reform:

...Stanford Law School professor Lawrence Marshall later told commissioners that the proposal could, in effect, just add another tier of lengthy legal review, further protracting a notoriously slow process.

"I understand the impetus," the professor said to the panel. "But, on some level, they are rearranging the furniture..."

Marshall, who had been influential in commuting death sentences in Illinois as an advocate for the wrongfully convicted, said the state's unprecedented backlog is the result of the state's breadth of the more than 30 penal code offenses that qualify for the death penalty.

He proposed that narrowing the scope of death penalty cases to only the "worst of the worst" as a way to greatly diminish the number of inmates at San Quentin's Death Row.