Newsom dismisses criticism over his moratorium on California death row executions

14 March, 2019, 07:15 | Author: Rachel Logan
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The Golden State hasn't executed any prisoners since 2006, the outlet reported, but it does have 737 inmates sitting on death row.

But Alison Parker, U.S. managing director at Human Rights Watch, praised Newsom's "great courage and leadership in ending the cruel, costly, and unfair practice of executing prisoners", calling for other states to follow California's lead. His administration argues that capital punishment has been a failure, pointing at pervasive inequality running through the USA criminal justice system, the significant number of innocent people who have been wrongfully convicted, and evidence that the costly system doesn't increase safety.

"I told him these are people who kill babies and women and cops", Klaas said.

On the campaign trail just past year, Newsom said he would respect the voters' will with regard to the death penalty. In 2016, as they narrowly rejected Proposition 62, voters narrowly passed a competing measure, Proposition 66, to expedite executions by shortening the appeals process. Newsom said he will support the measure if the Legislature puts it on the ballot. "We owe you and we need to do more and do better for victims in this state".

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

Trump said in his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference that Newsom made the remark during a phone call thanking the president for visiting the parts of California that had been badly damaged by wildfires.

If a single individual who temporarily holds the reins of power, even in the highly controversial and oft debated issue of the death penalty, can override that basic concept of government by the people then a severe crack appears in the foundation of the democracy. Trump added that Newsom would probably deny the compliment.

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"Defying voters, the Governor of California will halt all death penalty executions of 737 stone cold killers", the Republican president tweeted.

"I was a young man learning that life story", he said after signing the order.

Newsom's office said 25 condemned inmates have exhausted all of their appeals and could have faced execution if the courts approved the state's new lethal injection method. It was an abstract question. (Who, it's worth mentioning, is the ex-husband of Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle.) California hasn't had an execution since 2006, when it executed Clarence Allen.

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 a year ago.

California is the sixth state where a governor has enacted a moratorium.

This moratorium will be in place for the duration of Newsom's time in office, the governor's office said. The executive action prevents their execution as long as Newsom is governor. CA has the largest death row in the country. He believes capital punishment is discriminatory, unjust and "inconsistent with our bedrock values".

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