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Federal judge rules California's death penalty system unconstitutional

SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - California's system for imposing and carrying out the death penalty is so long and drawn-out that it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

Ruling in the case of Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was condemned to death in 1995 and has yet to be executed, Judge Cormac J. Carney of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California said that to take "nearly a generation" to decide on Jones' appeals is unconstitutional.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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