Lethal injection is only the third leading cause of death on California's death row, following natural causes and suicide.
It takes nearly 25 years to execute a defendant after conviction, and it costs an additional $230 million per year to maintain the death penalty option compared to a regime where the maximum penalty is life in prison without possibility of parole (as it is in Wisconsin).
And while there are approaching 700 inmates on California's death row, there have been only 13 executions since 1976, when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the reinstatement of capital punishment.*
Source: Prof. Gerald F. Uelmen.
* The policies announced in that decision were supposed to mitigate against arbitrariness in imposing the death penalty. However, it still depends on which California county you do your killin' in, as different district attorneys have varying personal attitudes toward seeking it.
Style note: Until the successful confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor as the next United States Supreme Court associate justice, this blog will refer to legal rulemaking by the appellate courts as "policymaking."