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US judge rules against California death penalty

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A federal judge in Southern California has ruled the state's death penalty unconstitutional.

The ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney follows a similar ruling in Northern California that has kept the death penalty on hold in California for years.

Ruling in the case of a prisoner who was condemned in 1994, Carney wrote that inordinate and unpredictable delays have resulted in a death penalty system in which arbitrary factors determine whether an individual will actually be executed.

Carney vacated the death sentence of Ernest Dewayne Jones.

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