The death penalty was ruled unconstitutional in California by a federal judge today, officials say.

According to CNN, Judge Cormac J. Carney of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California delivered a ruling which declared the state's system for capital punishment "dysfunctional" while vacating the death sentence Ernest D. Jones was given in 1995. Carney said that threatening Jones with the death "[violated] the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment."

CNN adds that though 900 people have been sentenced to death since in California since 1978, only 13 have been executed. A moratorium on capital punishment in the state has been in place since 2006, leaving 748 people stranded on death row. 

[via CNN]

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