Justice Death penalty: Ruling in California finds long delays 'cruel and unusual' (+video)

A federal judge struck down California's death penalty on Wednesday, ruling that death-row wait times are too long and the application of the sentence is too arbitrary, in violation of a constitutional ban on 'cruel and unusual punishment.' 

By , Staff writer

Terry Crenshaw/AP

A federal judge’s ruling on Wednesday that California’s death penalty is unconstitutional could make it to the US Supreme Court, experts say. Although the decision is unlikely to hold up, they add, it is focusing attention on the decades-long wait facing most death-row inmates.