Gavin Newsom (D) is putting a stop to the death penalty in California for now, issuing an executive order that provides temporary relief to more than 700 death row inmates, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
In addition to the moratorium, Newsom's order will also withdraw California's legal injection protocol and close the execution chamber at San Quentin, where all death row inmates are imprisoned. And he's shuttering the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison that has never been used.
The 38-year-old reality star has revealed that she is working with California's Governor Newsom on eliminating the death penalty in the state.
Abolitionists expressed hope that Newsom's decision will convince other states across the country to institute their own moratoriums. In the last decade, Democrats who control state government and the state's largely liberal voters have embraced policies to eliminate the use of money bail, reduce some non-violent felonies to misdemeanors and legalize marijuana.
No death row inmates will be released.
Newsom's reason for the executive order?
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The governor is expected to outline the long history of discrimination within the criminal justice system, making mentally ill, black, brown, and poor convicts more likely to face the death penalty.
California has executed 13 people since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. He also said innocent people have been wrongly convicted and sometimes put to death. But only California voters can repeal the death penalty, something they rejected narrowly three years ago.
"Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I!" he added on Twitter.
But Newsom's action will anger death penalty proponents.
Three inmates convicted of San Luis Obispo County murders are now on death row: Michael Whisenhunt, Richard Benson and Rex Krebs.
Newsom's decision will be officially announced on Wednesday, according to the NYT. In fact, the murder rate in states with the death penalty is consistently higher than in states without it. Republican Illinois Gov. George Ryan was the first to do so since 2000 and later was followed by Pennsylvania, Washington and Oregon.
"I met someone yesterday who said this is about eradicating evil, and you have a responsibility to eradicate evil by executing those on death row", he said. Harris called the death penalty "immoral, discriminatory, ineffective and a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars" - yet, while she was California attorney general, she did not take an official position on ballot measures to abolish the death penalty. Twenty-six inmates condemned to death have committed suicide since the death penalty was reintroduced in 1978.
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