California suspends death penalty

Gavin Newsom Trashes Trump's Claim He Called Him 'One Of The Smartest People'

On Wednesday morning, Gavin Newsom is expected to sign a new executive order that will put in place an executive moratorium on the death penalty, meaning 737 inmates awaiting execution in California will not be put to death during the governor's tenure.

With Newsom's move, California joins Colorado, Pennsylvania and OR as the fourth state to place a moratorium on the death penalty, though the length and reasoning for the moratoriums vary from state to state.

"The voters of the State of California support the death penalty", said ADDA President Michelle Hanisee, citing the 2016 failure of two ballot initiatives aimed at eliminating capital punishment and passage of another meant to speed up the process of approving inmates for execution.

Since California's last execution, its death row population has grown to house one of every four condemned inmates in the US.

Across the country, 18 states and Washington DC have abolished the death penalty and others have issued suspensions.

As recently as 2016, a measure to abolish the death penalty failed, and another, aimed at speeding up executions, passed. Scheidegger said that Newsom can grant reprieves to condemned inmates but cannot order the closing of the death chamber or the halting of the effort to find a new lethal injection. A state's chief executive should have the authority to suspend such operations if that's truly what is happening.

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

In 1998, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gray Davis also ran as a supporter of capital punishment, easily crushing Republican Attorney General Dan Lungren in the general election.

On the campaign trail just a year ago, Newsom said he would respect the voters' will with regard to the death penalty.

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The California moratorium will become the fourth in the nation, following similar ones issued under Democratic governors in Oregon, Colorado, and California.

"Executions have dropped dramatically over the past decade, the trend in state legislatures has been to reject capital punishment and public opinion has slowly, but surely been turning against the death penalty", said Mandery.

While campaigning for governor previous year, Newsom said he was fervently opposed to the death penalty but didn't "want to get ahead of the will of the voters" and wanted to "give the voters a chance to reconsider".

He's not commuting any death sentences, which in many cases would require agreement from the state Supreme Court. "I visited prisons, met with formerly incarcerated people, and helped with cases of individual injustice - including two death penalty cases", Kim tweeted.

The executive order will likely face legal challenges by pro-death penalty organizations and county prosecutors.

"As conservatives, we applaud Governor Newsom's decision because the death penalty violates our beliefs in limited government, fiscal responsibility, and the value of life".

Weight should be given to Newsom's point that a number of death row occupants are eventually released because they were wrongly convicted.

Since 1973, five California inmates who were sentenced to death were later exonerated, his office said.

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