Golden Gate University Law Review


This Note argues that the Ninth Circuit should have affirmed the district court’s holding, thus invalidating California’s capital punishment system for three main reasons. First, citizens are losing confidence in the death penalty, which undermines its deterrent effect. Second, capital punishment is a critical issue for the State, and Californians and death row inmates alike must look to the judiciary for relief. Third, the Ninth Circuit avoided the constitutional issue of California’s capital punishment system by relying on Teague v. Lane. In doing so, the court deepened the problems the Defendant and the district court sought to alleviate.