Residents in blue state California, who gave Hillary Clinton 61 percent of the vote, nevertheless passed a measure that addresses an issue conservatives tend to support.
From the Wall Street Journal (emphasis added):
Voters also rejected a repeal of the state’s death penalty. A competing measure to speed up the death penalty appeals process was still close Wednesday, and had not yet been called by the Associated Press or state officials.
Experts say the “direct democracy” embodied in ballot questions remains popular in California as distrust of politicians runs high, despite the state’s initiative system largely having been co-opted by special interests
The California Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty in 1972, which resulted in the government commuting the infamous Charles Manson’s death sentence to life after he was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in 1971. The government also commuted the death sentence of Sirhan Sirhan, the man who murdered Robert F. Kennedy. The death penalty was reinstated in 1973.
Voters in Nebraska decided to reinstate capital punishment, and voters in Oklahoma amended their constitution to state that the death penalty isn’t cruel or unusual punishment, and the state may set execution methods that haven’t been ruled unconstitutional.