California governor to halt executions


Gov. Gavin Newsom of California (D) is set to sign an executive order suspending the death penalty in his state, granting reprieve to the 737 inmates on America's largest Death Row, according to reports. This comes on the heels of Californians actually voting to bolster the speed with which the state can execute an inmate.

There are now 24 inmates on death row who have run out of appeals to their sentence. It has not made the state safer and has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars, according to prepared remarks Newsom plans to deliver Wednesday morning when he signs the order.

"Our death penalty system has been - by any measure - a failure", said Newsom. "The intentional killing of another person is wrong".

"I have met with and am very supportive of Governor Newsom and his decision to help bring an end to the California Death Penalty".

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The death penalty is an archaic and unjust system, disproportionately condemning people of color and those with disabilities. There hasn't been an execution in California since 2006, amid a years-long legal battle over the state's drug cocktail.

"The moral leadership the governor is showing puts us in line with other countries and other states in terms of abolishing the death penalty", she said.

Among those waiting on death row is Luis Bracamontes, an illegal immigrant who killed two law enforcement officers and said in court, "The only thing I [expletive] regret is I only killed two;" and Alberto Hinojosa Medina, who stabbed 21-year-old UCLA student Andrea Del Vesco 19 times in her apartment in Westwood in 2015 before setting the apartment on fire.

California has not put an inmate to death since 2006, amid legal challenges to its execution protocols and discomfort with the sentence among political leaders.

The Golden State hasn't executed any prisoners since 2006, the outlet reported, but it does have 737 inmates sitting on death row. "Gov. usurping the express will of California voters".

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Newsom has always been a vocal opponent of the death penalty, stating the practice discriminates against people of color, mentally ill people and poor people, and that it has put to death those wrongfully convicted of crimes.

Gavin Newsom said in a statement Tuesday that he will halt all executions in the state for as long as he holds office, calling the death penalty "inconsistent with our bedrock values". The state came up with a new lethal injection protocol in 2018 but has still been hamstrung by court challenges from the American Civil Liberties Union. Newsom is expected to say on Wednesday that he believes capital punishment to be costly and burdensome, and unevenly meted out to minorities and offenders with disabilities, the administration source said. But executions for more than 20 inmates who have exhausted their appeals could have resumed if those challenges were cleared up, and Newsom has said he anxious that it could happen soon.

In 2014, support for the death penalty among Democrats dropped under 50 percent in Pew's polling, the first year in which that happened.

"You can't make this up Anderson", Newsom said with a laugh.

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