A bill that State Sen. Tom Harman hoped would expedite the state’s death row appeals process was nixed in committee Tuesday, when a 2-2 committee vote along party lines rejected the bill.
Harman, who called the state’s system a “de facto moratorium” on the death penalty, said he felt the Democrats who voted against the bill did so to maintain the system’s often decades-long appeals process. Harman cited a shortage of qualified attorneys and other problems he said contributed to the long wait.
While attempts to contact the two senators who voted against the measure — Sens. Gilbert Cedillo (D — Los Angeles) and Don Perata (D — Berkeley) — were unsuccessful, Cedillo’s spokeswoman Xochitl Arellano said the senator thought the bill was “bad policy.”