Gov. Gavin Newsom Halts Executions In California, Calls Death Penalty 'A Failure'

Gavin Newsom Plans To Sign An Executive Order On An Issue CA Voters Turned Down Twice Before

The new governor of California yesterday suspended executions indefinitely in the state, which has more than twice as many prisoners on death row as any other.

"The data shows it doesn't work, It is discriminatory, it costs tons of money and innocent people are convicted", said Eric Quandt, the SF Deputy Public Defender.

He also supports repealing the death penalty.

The move has been...

Prosecutors, lawyers, death penalty opponents, family members of victims killed by death row inmates -all had strong reactions to Newsom halting the state's capital punishment apparatus. How do we do this right?

Newsom's aides said it has not yet been decided what will become of the execution chamber, or whether corrections officials have been told to top preparing for executions, for instance by running drills. No person has been executed since 2006 because California's execution protocols have not been lawful.

Newsom says his views on the death penalty were shaped 40 years ago through his grandfather's and father's advocacy on behalf of a wrongfully convicted man. California has the largest death row population in the Western Hemisphere - one in four people on death row in the United States are in California. Since then, legal battles over whether the state can carry out the death penalty in a constitutional manner have ground what Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun called "the machinery of death" to a halt. "Racial bias and unfairness run deep throughout the justice system but especially when it comes to the death penalty".

He was backed by fellow Democratic lawmakers who introduced a ballot measure that would repeal the death penalty next year by putting the politically perilous issue before voters for the third time in eight years.

Newsom's order also withdraws California's lethal injection protocol and closes the execution chamber at San Quentin, where most death row inmates are imprisoned.

California governor suspends death penalty
This could create a challenge for Newsom, since his executive order would be denying the will of the California people. However, in 2012 and again in 2016, Californian voters rejected ballot measures aimed at abolishing the death penalty.

"We can no longer allow the death penalty to be a part of what defines us". No inmates will be released as a result of the directive nor will any current sentences be altered.

In 2016, state voters narrowly voted for a measure that would speed up executions.

Newsom followed the lead of the governors of Colorado, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, who also recently announced moratoriums on capital punishment, as well as Washington State's Supreme Court, which banned the practice previous year. "But we can not advance the death penalty in effort to try to soften the blow of what happened".

"I did this with the victims in mind", Newsom said. "More than six in ten people on California's death row are people of color". Three states - Oregon, Colorado and Pennsylvania - have Governor-imposed moratoria on the death penalty and in 2018, the Washington State Supreme Court struck down the death penalty as unconstitutional and "racially biased".

"Our death penalty system has been-by any measure-a failure", Newsom added. On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to halt executions in his state by signing a moratorium.

"Capital punishment doesn't solve a social problem, it doesn't reduce violence, it's no deterrent to crime - it's just retaliation".

Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a law approved by the people.

Brown said he was satisfied with his record number of pardons and commutations, though he never attempted to commute a death sentence.

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