California governor to impose moratorium on executions

California governor to impose moratorium on executions

The order will also immediately close the execution chamber at San Quentin and states that the directive "does not provide for the release of any individual from prison or otherwise alter any current conviction or sentence", according to Newsom's office.

"I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people", Newsom plans to say on Wednesday, in remarks seen by Reuters.

Ultimately, Newsom decided the moratorium was in the best interest of the state, because he believes the death penalty "is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian".

"Our death penalty system has been - by any measure - a failure", Newsom plans to say.

Some are calling Newsom's decision an abuse of power. It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can't afford expensive legal representation. "It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent". Human Rights Watch believes these rights can not be reconciled with the death penalty, a form of punishment unique in its cruelty and finality.

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

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Newsom, a Democrat, said he is not issuing commutations for the convicted.

The last execution in California was when the state put Clarence Ray Allen, 76, to death on January 17, 2006.

"A 2,000-mile wall is a monument to stupidity, not just vanity, to stupidity", Newsom said. "Nobody should use the word "justice" in my presence again". 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. His administration argues that capital punishment has been a failure, pointing at pervasive inequality running through the United States criminal justice system, the significant number of innocent people who have been wrongfully convicted, and evidence that the costly system doesn't increase safety. Trump tweeted early Wednesday.

The last time an inmate was executed in California was in 2006 under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. After that, a future governor could decide to resume executions.

In his speech on Wednesday, the governor will highlight the racial disparities in sentencing - noting that 6 in 10 prisoners on California's death row are people of color - the cost of enforcing the death penalty and the number of innocent people who have been sentenced to death.

"Governor Newsom, who supported the failed initiative to end the death penalty in 2006, is usurping the express will of California voters and substituting his personal preferences via this hasty and ill-considered moratorium on the death penalty", she said.

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