A federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled California's death penalty unconstitutional.

The ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney follows a similar ruling in Northern California that has kept the death penalty on hold in California for years.

Ruling in the case of a prisoner who was condemned in 1994, Carney wrote that inordinate and unpredictable delays have resulted in a death penalty system in which arbitrary factors determine whether an individual will actually be executed.

He said that the state's system of carrying out the death penalty is so long and drawn out that it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.  

Carney vacated the death sentence of Ernest Dewayne Jones.