The California Supreme Court rules the death penalty to be cruel and unusual punishment and in violation of the state constitution. The ruling takes 107 inmates off of death row, including Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan (who killed Robert Kennedy).
Later that same year (1972), Californians passed Proposition 17 which reintroduced the death penalty and amended the California Constitution. No executions were carried out in California until 1992 because of the Supreme Court decision in Furman v. Georgia which temporarily suspended capital punishment in the U.S.
The case stemmed from People of California v. Robert Page Anderson who murdered three people during a robbery. His sentence was commuted and in 1976, he was paroled and moved to Seattle.