Governor Newsom Halts Death Penalty in California, Closes San Quentin Execution Chamber

H3 death penalty

H3 death penalty

Anti-death penalty activists applauded California Gov. Gavin Newsom's planned executive order announcing a moratorium on capital punishment in the state on Wednesday.

"And we should not be okay with the risk that an innocent person could be executed", she continued.

"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.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that voters don't support Newsom's decision on behalf of the "737 stone cold killers".

President Donald Trump weighed in before Newsom's announcement, saying the governor's decision violates the will of Californians.

"We commend California Governor Gavin Newsom on this common-sense step".

Newsom signed an executive order granting reprieves to death row inmates and closing the state's execution chamber.

Newsom has long opposed the death penalty, but has been wrestling with what action to take as governor. That said, California now joins three other states - Oregon, Colorado and Pennsylvania - where governors have issued moratoriums on executions.

At age 88, David Carpenter is the oldest current inmate on California's death row, but he didn't arrive until 1984 at age 50.

Newsom vows that during his time in office no prisoner will be executed in California, which has the largest total of condemned inmates among all states nationwide.

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

Newsom, whose state government is clashing with Trump over environmental regulations, Trump's promised border wall and plans for a bullet train, added he was still committed to working with the Trump White House on disaster preparedness. But most of all, the death penalty is absolute.

But, in the news conference immediately after signing the executive order Wednesday morning, Newsom said that the voters chose to put him in office knowing that he has always been opposed to the death penalty.

California has not carried out any executions since 2006, as a series of court battles over execution methods have been waged.

While Newsom and many advocates favor ending the death penalty, the California people voted in 2016 to keep it for those convicted for first-degree murder.

Newsom said the death penalty isn't a deterrent, wastes taxpayer dollars and is flawed because it is "irreversible and irreparable in the event of human error".

A condemned inmate stands in a cell in the yard outside of San Quentin State Prison's death row adjustment center on August 15, 2016 in San Quentin, California. The executive order he is expected to sign will also withdraw the state's lethal injection protocol and catalyze the dismantling of the execution room at San Quentin State Prison.

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.

"I couldn't sleep at night", he said at the state capitol.

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