California Gov. Gavin Newsom To Halt Executions

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

California hasn't executed anyone since 2006.

An execution chamber in a file photo.

California's voters have narrowly upheld the death penalty, most recently in 2016, when they voted to speed up the process.

California hasn't executed anyone since 2006, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor.

Klaas's daughter, 12-year old Polly Klaas, was killed in Petaluma in 1993. He's known as the "Grim Sleeper" because detectives thought he took a 14-year break in killing between 1988 and 2002.

His order also points to the 164 people who have been freed from death row after they were found to be wrongfully convicted.

"For the past year, I have immersed myself in learning about the criminal justice system". The California Constitution gives the governor power to grant reprieves to inmates, providing he reports his reasoning to the Legislature.

California voters have, more than once, affirmed their desire for a death penalty.

Newsom believes the death penalty is ineffective as a crime deterrent, expensive, and racially discriminatory, saying it "discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can't afford expensive legal representation".

Newson, in his prepared remarks, dubbed California's death penalty an immoral "failure" that has provided no public safety benefit while costing the state's taxpayers billions of dollars.

His office insisted he has the authority to impose the moratorium because he is not changing or commuting death sentences.

No death row inmates will be released.

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Other governors also have enacted moratoriums.

Newsom plans to say that the death penalty is racist and classist. Republican Illinois Governor George Ryan was the first in 2000 and was later followed by Pennsylvania, Washington and Oregon. The state's new governor supports a repeal bill in the Legislature.

At that time, Newsom said he understood that the issue "raises deeply felt passions on all sides" but he believed that Americans ultimately would look back on the death penalty "as an archaic mistake".

Trump is more likely signaling his defense of the death penalty to the country broadly than trying specifically to undercut Newsom.

"The disparities are very real and raw to me now especially as I spend every week working on the issues of paroles and commutations", he said.

At least one conservative group applauded Newsom's efforts.

While Newsom's gesture may impress an increasingly left-wing Democratic Party base, it is sure to be controversial on both sides of the aisle.

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.

Most industrialized nations have abolished the death penalty, yet the US executes more people than any other democracy on the planet. "I've carved out my piece of all this". After Newsom's term is up, the future governor could choose to resume overseeing executions or continue the ban.

Eighteen other states and the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty. Another 26 committed suicide. "I visited prisons, met with formerly incarcerated people, and helped with cases of individual injustice - including two death penalty cases", Kim tweeted.

Just last month, Newsom issued an executive order that allowed for new DNA testing of evidence in the high-profile case of death row inmate Kevin Cooper, who was sentenced in 1985 for the murders of four people and has exhausted his appeals.

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