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California Death Penalty Ban Qualifies For November Ballot

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) -- California voters will have a chance to decide whether to abolish the death penalty this November.

The Secretary of State's office announced Monday that a measure qualified for the ballot that would make life in prison without parole the harshest punishment in the state.

The proposition also would convert the death sentences of 725 inmates to life prison terms.

Executions currently are suspended in California.

KCBS' Larry Chiaroni Reports:

A federal judge halted the practice in 2006, after finding that the state's lethal injection protocol was cruel and unusual punishment. Officials since have been working to fix the problems.

The state has executed 13 inmates since voters reinstated the death penalty in 1978. The measure directs $100 million saved from abolishing the death penalty be spent over three years investigating unsolved murders and rapes.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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