Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

California Suspends Death Penalty

California Suspends Death Penalty

"Defying voters, the Governor of California will halt all death penalty executions of 737 stone cold killers", Trump said.

Most industrialized nations have abolished the death penalty, yet the USA executes more people than any other democracy on the planet.

Some supporters of the move pointed out that despite California's status as a blue state, Newsom's decision was a bold one in light of voters' recent support for state-sponsored executions.

Trump says "Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I!" Nor should it be surprising that President Trump weighed in Wednesday morning to oppose Newsom's move.

Newsom's order is in effect as long as he is governor.

Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, an organization that is part of advocacy group Equal Justice USA, expressed support for the Newsom's announcement.

Death penalty opponents hope California's suspension of executions will inspire other states to follow suit.

The state now houses around a quarter of the total of condemned inmates in the USA.

The governor's decision brings California in line with Colorado, Oregon, and Pennsylvania - all of which have governor-issued moratoria - and adds momentum to a national movement working to end capital punishment. "The intentional killing of another person is wrong".

Since 1973, five inmates in California have been executed before being exonerated of their crimes later on.

California Governor Gavin Newsom
California Governor Gavin Newsom

The moratorium comes after Californians voted against a repeal of the death penalty in 2016, which, at the time, Newsom told a local newspaper's editorial board that if he were elected governor that he would "be accountable to the will of the voters", according to The Sacramento Bee.

He spoke about meeting men imprisoned in San Quentin State Prison, including a former high school classmate on death row and a foster brother who did time for dealing crack cocaine.

Newsom plans to grant reprieves to 737 condemned inmates in the state. He's not commuting any death sentences, which in many cases would require agreement from the state Supreme Court. Levine's district includes San Quentin State Prison, which houses California's death row and execution chamber.

A condemned inmate is led out of his east block cell on death row at San Quentin State Prison, Aug. 16, 2016, in San Quentin, Calif.

"Our death penalty system has been - by any measure - a failure", Newsom said in a written statement.

There hasn't been an execution in California since 2006, amid a years-long legal battle over the state's drug cocktail. "Her choice was ultimately to take the appeal so she doesn't risk having the entire death penalty thrown out".

Newsom's office said 25 condemned inmates have exhausted all of their appeals and could soon have faced execution if the courts approved the state's new lethal injection method. More than three-quarters of Republicans support executions while only about a third of Democrats agree.

Newsom's office said he can act unilaterally because he's enacting a moratorium, not changing anyone's sentence.

Newsom thinks the death penalty is expensive, and flawed.

Gov. Gavin Newsom will suspend death penalty in California
California hasn't executed an inmate since 2006, when Republican Gov. After that, a future governor could decide to resume executions. Arnold Schwarzenegger was in office.

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