Published: Wed, March 13, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Trump blasts California governor for halting executions

Trump blasts California governor for halting executions

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.

The governor plans to sign an executive order to block the death penalty in his state.

"The intentional killing of another person is wrong", he said, "and as governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual".

"That is powerfully demonstrated by their approval of Proposition 66 in 2016 to ensure the death penalty is implemented, and their rejection of measures to end the death penalty in 2016 and 2006". He also said that many innocent people have been wrongly convicted and sometimes put to death.

There are now 737 people on death row in California, making it the state with the largest death row population in the USA -one in four people sentenced to the death penalty in the country are sentenced in California.

In 2016 while serving as lieutenant governor, Newsom endorsed a failed California ballot measure that would have repealed the death penalty - an issue so controversial that then-Gov. During that same time, 79 death row inmates have died of natural causes and 26 have died by suicide, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Newsom's planned order drew criticism from some law enforcement groups, including the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, a prosecutors' association.

Newsom is a Democrat who took office in January and is a long-standing opponent of the death penalty, which was last carried out in California in 2006.

Studies over the past several decades have found persistent patterns of racial disparities in courts imposing the death penalty, with black people much more likely to receive such verdicts than white people, especially if the victim of their crime is white.

The order would also withdraw lethal injection regulations. Republican Illinois Gov. George Ryan was the first to do so in 2000, though Illinois has since abolished the death penalty.

Kim Kardashian West, who has championed criminal justice reform and successfully lobbied President Donald Trump to commute a Tennessee woman's life sentence, said she was "very supportive" of the governor's decision.

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.

"I think we hear what we want to hear", he said.

The policy will serve as an instant reprieve for the 737 people on death row in California, which has the largest death row population in the nation. Capital punishment is considered a legal penalty in the State of California.

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.

Like this: