Briggs v. BrownAnnotate this Case
Petitioner’s constitutional challenges to Proposition 66, the Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act of 2016, did not warrant relief.
Proposition 66, which was approved by California voters in the November 2016 election, is intended to facilitate the enforcement of judgments and achieve cost savings in capital cases. Petitioner sought writ relief from the Supreme Court, arguing that Proposition 66 embraces more than one subject in violation of the California Constitution, interferes with the jurisdiction of courts to hear original petitions for habeas corpus relief, violates inmates’ equal protection rights by treating capital prisoners differently from other prisoners with respect to successive habeas corpus petitions, and violates the separation of powers doctrine by materially impairing courts’ ability to resolve capital appeals and habeas corpus petitions. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding (1) Proposition 66 is not unconstitutional; but (2) in order to avoid separation of powers problems, provisions of Proposition 66 that appear to impose strict deadlines on the resolution of judicial proceedings must be deemed directive rather than mandatory.