SAN FRANCISCO — Three former California governors are set to announce their endorsement Thursday of a proposed initiative sponsors say would end lengthy death penalty appeals and speed up executions.
Former governors George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Gray Davis will announce at a news conference the launch of an initiative drive for signatures to qualify the proposed constitutional amendment for the November ballot.
The measure, if qualified, would ignite the second statewide debate on the death penalty in two years.
A ballot proposal that would have ended capital punishment in California narrowly lost in 2012, with 48% of voters in favor and 52% against.
The new proposal would establish five-year court deadlines for deciding death row appeals, transfer most death penalty cases from the California Supreme Court to lower courts, and allow capital inmates to be spread among the general prison population.