California Gov. to Go Against Voters, Institute Death Penalty Moratorium

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Governor Newsom's office also stated that 25 inmates now on death row could have possibly faced execution if the new lethal injection method had managed to pass the courts.

California has not carried out any executions since 2006, as a series of court battles over execution methods have been waged.

California's governor is set to issue a moratorium on capital punishment in the US's most populous state, providing a reprieve for hundreds of inmates sentenced to death. "Racial bias and unfairness run deep throughout the justice system but especially when it comes to the death penalty".

The gas chamber now has a sign reading CLOSED. The order grants a reprieve to the 737 inmates now sitting on California's death row. Of those, there are 49 inmates from the Sacramento and surrounding area affected by the order.

President Donald Trump claimed during a speech last week that California Gov. Gavin Newsom called him "one of the smartest people I've ever met", which the Democrat denied during a CNN interview last night.

Trump says "Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I!"

California has not executed anyone in more than a decade because of legal challenges to the state's execution protocol.

Cox told Newsweek she hoped other states will follow California and "and direct their resources toward programs that actually work to deter and solve crime". Those inmates have each spent between 27 and 38 years on death row.




The Times points out that this is classic Newsom: latching on to a major cause of national significance early in his tenure in order to attract national headlines.

According to the state's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation death row list (pdf), 737 inmates were slated to be executed prior to the executive order. Since the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, the state has executed 13 people.

Shari Silberstein, executive director of Equal Justice USA, a New York-based campaign group, said Mr Newsom had "written a new chapter in the history of justice reform". They include Scott Peterson, whose trial for killing his wife, Laci, rivetted the country, and Richard Davis, who kidnapped 12-year-old Polly Klaas during a slumber party and strangled her.

And though voters in 2016 narrowly approved a ballot measure to speed up the punishment, no condemned inmate faced imminent execution.

Democratic Assemblyman Marc Levine is counting on Newsom to transform voters' long-running support for the death penalty.

Under the governor's reprieve, all 737 people on death row will remain in prison and, on paper, sentenced to death. Death penalty advocates and people whose lives have been touched by the actions of inmates on death row are likely to launch legal challenges to Newsom's order, and as KQED suggests, this should spark some more "robust debate" on the issue.

"The death penalty has been an abject failure", tweeted California Governor Gavin Newsom who has signed an executive order to stop the practice". Jerry Brown over their opposition to the death penalty.

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