California's choice on death penalty: End it - or speed it up?

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- In November California voters will be asked to look at two competing ballot measures on the death penalty - one to abolish it and one to speed it up.

Proposition 62 repeals the death penalty in California and replaces the maximum punishment for murder with life in prison without possibility of parole. It would also apply to the more than 700 inmates who are already on California's death row.

Proposition 66 keeps the death penalty in place and sets up new procedures to speed up appeals of capital punishment cases, so that executions could be held more quickly after the sentence is delivered.

Members of law enforcement, families of murder victims and other supporters of Prop. 66 argue that the California legal system takes too long to carry out the death penalty once a defendant has been sentenced.

"The average death row inmate has spent 16 years with a death sentence. No one on California's death row has been executed in 10 years," said Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.

Beth Webb supports Prop. 62, to end the death penalty. Her sister Laura was one of eight people murdered by a gunman who opened fire on a Seal Beach salon in 2011.

She argues that the death penalty makes the state sink to the level of those who carried out the murders.

"Any eye for an eye is not accurate, it's not going to happen. And it just sinks us to his level. So we want to make a statement saying we're not at your level. We're better."
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