El Dorado County and San Fran County at opposite end of Death Row Convictions

by Placerville Newswire / Feb 04, 2016 / comments

See which California counties still send criminals to death row, despite lack of executions

It's been exactly a decade since California last executed a murderer. But since then more than 180 California criminals have been sentenced to death.

The sentences have not been uniformly distributed. Some counties have stopped or almost stopped sending murderers to Death Row. Others continue to condemn prisoners with relatively high frequency.

It's unclear whether these criminals will ever be executed. California halted executions in 2006 following a court order related to whether the state's drug protocol constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. State officials have worked to resolve that question. Late last year, they unveiled a new lethal injection method that for the first time in state history calls for the use of only one drug to execute inmates.

Proponents for competing ballot initiatives - one that would speed up the process for executions and one that would abolish the death penalty -- are collecting signatures for the November 2016 ballot.

Among large communities, Riverside County is the outlier, condemning murderers to death row at more than five times the statewide rate during the last 10 years.

This map shows the counties where murder arrests most often resulted in death penalty convictions from 2006 through 2015.

More than 5 percent of murder arrests in Riverside County resulted in a sentence of death during the last 10 years, according to a Bee review of data from the state Department of Justice and the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. By comparison, about 1 percent of murder arrests statewide resulted in a sentence of death over that same period.

A few small counties, particularly Kings County and El Dorado County, sentenced murderers to death at a high rate - but those counties also have a relatively low number of murders, which potentially inflates their rates.

On the other end of the spectrum, Sacramento County saw almost 1,000 murder arrests in the last decade, and four murderers condemned, state figures show. None of the roughly 350 murder arrests in San Francisco over that period resulted in a sentence of death.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/site-services/databases/article58523288.html