California to appeal ruling tossing death penalty

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California's attorney general says she will appeal a federal court ruling that struck down the state's death penalty.

A federal judge ruled last month that the state's death penalty takes too long to carry out. The judge said the unpredictable delay in carrying out executions is unconstitutionally arbitrary and unfair.

Attorney General Kamala Harris says the decision undermines protections that the state's courts provide to defendants.

Since the current death penalty system was adopted 35 years ago, more than 900 people have been sentenced to death in California, but only 13 have been executed.

No executions have been carried out since 2006 after another federal judge ordered an overhaul of the state's lethal injection procedures.

In addition, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is drafting new lethal injection regulations. No executions can occur until the new rules are adopted.