The California initiative (proposition 34) to replace the death penalty with a sentence of life without parole was defeated. So more than 800 people will remain on death row in that one state. However, abolitionists can take comfort in the narrowness of the defeat; the percent of voters supporting repeal (47% against 53% in favour of retention) signifies a considerable shift away from capital punishment, a shift reflected by opinion polls across the US, even in the deep South. The LA Times has more.