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“As executions have declined and public opinion of the death penalty has hit a record low nationwide, many looked to California as a test of whether the public — not courts or governments — was ready to overturn the practice.
“But California voters on Tuesday defeated a measure to repeal capital punishment and, as of Thursday, were on course to narrowly approve a dueling proposition that aims to amend and expedite it.
“Death penalty supporters lauded the outcome, saying it reflected what they have been pointing to all along: Most Americans want the system fixed, not ended. But abolitionists argued that campaigns in favor of capital punishment benefited from the so-called “Trump effect,” a wave of mostly white, male voters from rural areas energized by the Republican presidential campaign of Donald Trump.”