ABC Evening News for Friday, Feb 18, 1972
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(Studio) Although 682 convicts on death row, there have been no executions in US since 1967. Most states await United States Supreme Court decision on constitutionality of death penalty. California Supreme Court rules against death penalty.
REPORTER: Howard K. Smith
(San Quentin, California) Prisoners on death row in California's San Quentin Prison relieved to learn that state has abolished death penalty. State Supreme Court says practice degrades and dehumanizes all who participate in process; and capital punishment is not a deterrent to crime. Lengthy time in cell prior to execution termed cruel and unusual, incompatible with civilized society. Ruling means life imprisonment, instead of death, for Sirhan Sirhan who killed Robert Kennedy; Charles Manson and "family" who killed Sharon Tate and 6 others. [California Governor Ronald REAGAN - says decision should have been made by State Legislature, which has upheld capital punishment.]
REPORTER: Dick Shoemaker
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