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Death Penalty/California #221617

CBS Evening News for Friday, Feb 18, 1972
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(Studio) California Supreme Court declares death penalty unconstitutional, calling it cruel and unusual punishment. Death sentences commuted to life imprisonment.
REPORTER: Roger Mudd

(Los Angeles, California) Aaron Mitchell had killed a policeman and was sentenced to die in gas chamber. He was last man to die there. State's death row became nation's. largest after court ordered moratorium. Houses mass murderer Charles Hanson, and Sirhan Sirhan, Robert Kennedy assassin. [Sirhan's mother, Mrs. Mary SIRHAN - says her son will be grateful for mercy.] [ACLU Southern California, Eason MONROE - says it is cruel for the state to take a man's life, even if that wasn't the intent of Constitution writers.] [Assistant State Attorney General, Ronald GEORGE - says capital punishment is recognized in Constitutional provisions; and is useful in deterring murders. Says matter should be decided by legislature.] [Governor Ronald REAGAN - says even countries which outlaw capital punishment, reserve it for certain circumstances such as murder by life sentencer. Called useful as ultimate deterrent.]
REPORTER: Bill Kurtis

(San Quentin, California) All death sentences reduced to life imprisonment, making murders eligible for parole after 7 years
REPORTER: Bill Kurtis

(Studio) Decision applies only to California. Same case pending in United States Supreme Court
REPORTER: Roger Mudd

Kurtis, Bill;
Mudd, Roger

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