SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a voter-approved measure aimed at speeding up executions. But in a 5-2 decision, the justices said a provision that put a five-year time limit on appeals by condemned inmates was not mandatory. Here are some excerpts from both sides in the ruling.


“The time limits reflect the voters’ will, which we respect. However, they were presented to the voters by the proponents of Proposition 66 without the benefit of hearings or research exploring their feasibility or their impact on the rest of the courts’ work. As the concurring opinion explains, these are issues of considerable complexity and difficulty. The implementation of Proposition 66 will necessarily be an ongoing process of exploration and adaptation.”

— Associate Justice Carol Corrigan’s majority opinion


— “The bait-and-switch undertaken by the proponents of Proposition 66 — and countenanced by the majority — will do nothing but breed cynicism in the electorate and supply further kindling to those who doubt the efficacy and workability of constitutional democracy. As an inducement to support this initiative, voters were promised that state court review of death penalty judgments could and would be completed within five years. That promise, as the majority concedes, was a sham.”

— Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar’s dissenting opinion