I have disappointing news to share: the Attorney General has decided to appeal in Jones v. Chappell.

I am not surprised, but I am very disappointed, just as all of you must be. Whoever has taken part in reaching this decision is not supporting the law or defendants’ rights; they are supporting wasteful, unconscionable expenditures of $130 million annually on a lengthy incarceration in a dilapidated facility, complete with decades of state-funded post-conviction litigation. This is a very sad day for any reasonable, conscious Californian.

The next frontier will be in the Ninth Circuit, where odds that we will prevail are not very good, but not non-existent. Please follow up on our coverage of this issue,and do not be discouraged: we will fight on, in litigation and through legislative and political means, and we will see nationwide abolition in our time.


  1. I am very sad and disappointed to read this. Honestly it is exactly what we've expected. However, hope never dies, and so does our struggle. Thank you for your inspiring power.

  2. […] Six years ago, an Orange County federal judge, Judge Cormac Carney, ruled that the death penalty in California was cruel and unusual because of the delays in its administration. This decision provoked much excitement in the anti-death-penalty community. It did not mean immediate abolition, because it was just one habeas case. But it could lead to abolition, and all the Attorney General had to do was refrain from appealing the decision and get out of the way. At the time, I organized a petition, which 2,178 people signed, essentially urging then-Governor Brown and then-Attorney General Harris, both of whom were personally opposed to the death penalty, “don’t just do something! Sit there.” Many lawyers and advocates were extremely excited about the prospect of finally getting to work on ridding ourselves from the shame and the expense of California’s broken death penalty. And then, two days before the appellate clock was to run out, the AG’s office decided to appeal the decision. […]

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