(Photo Credit: Eric Leonard)

Three of California’s former governors will ask voters to speed up executions, and announced Thursday they’ve endorsed a new initiative to streamline and reduce the number of death row appeals, that under the current system, can often take decades to resolve before an execution is allowed.

“Old age should not be the leading cause of death on death row,” said former Gov. Pete Wilson.

Wilson, along with Gray Davis, George Deukmejian, and some current District Attorneys, said the initiative would cut-off endless appeals that are really tactics used to delay executions.

“This reform is long overdue,” Wilson said at a news conference held at the Los Angeles Police Protective League’s offices near Downtown L.A.

The proposal would also strip death row inmates of individual cells and special privileges, like personal televisions. It would also house the inmates in prisons around the state and require them to work at prison jobs while awaiting their lethal injection.

Former NFL player Kermit Alexander attended the event to support the measure. His mother, sister, and two nephews were murdered by gang members in South L.A. in 1984  and the killer is still appealing.
“We’ve been waiting over 30 years for justice,” Alexander said. “I am terribly, terribly disappointed in our system of justice because there is no accountability at this time.”

The American Civil Liberties Union has already begun work to oppose the measure, and the effort is being headed by former L.A. County District Attorney Gil Garcetti.

The ACLU has said it’s concerned any effort to limit the number of appeals would infringe on inmates’ due process rights.
-- Eric Leonard (@LeonardFiles) in Downtown L.A.