Gov. Gavin Newsom will suspend death penalty in California

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

On Tuesday, news broke that Newsom was going to announce a "moratorium" on capital punishment, temporarily halting the death penalty for the 737 inmates on death row in California, according to the New York Times. Since the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, the state has executed 13 people.

Gavin Newsom after Newsom ordered all executions in the state paused until further notice.

Newsom, a liberal Democrat who was elected in 2018, has always been an opponent of the death penalty, and is thought to be building a national political profile as he eyes a possible future presidential campaign. "The intentional killing of another person is wrong. And as Governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual", he said.

Newsom "is usurping the express will of California voters and substituting his personal preferences via this hasty and ill-considered moratorium on the death penalty", said Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy (Los Angeles County) District Attorneys. "Voters narrowly approved Proposition 66, a measure on the same ballot to streamline death penalty appeals", the Times reported.

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California has the most death row inmates in the US, according to Politico. Those on death row will remain in prison under the order.

According to the state's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation death row list (pdf), 737 inmates were slated to be executed prior to the executive order.

"The voters of the State of California support the death penalty. It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can't afford expensive legal representation", Newsom said in prepared remarks he is expected to deliver Wednesday morning. Because the state hasn't executed anyone since 2006 due to legal challenges, Newsom's order is largely viewed as symbolic.

Newsom may feel strongly on this issue, but his decision certainly will appear to as a slap in the face to the victims and their families.

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The state joins Colorado, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, which have similar bans, and 20 states that have abolished the death penalty, it said.

In 1990, Dianne Feinstein ran for governor as a pro-death penalty Democrat, views that were booed at the state Democratic Convention that year.

One of the demented killers Newsom plans on giving the free pass to is Davis, 64, one of the worst of the worst.

"The death penalty is immoral, discriminatory, ineffective, and proven to be unequally applied", she added.

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"I've done what I want to do", Brown said shortly before leaving office, defending his decision not to endorse death penalty repeal efforts in 2012 and 2016. "The disparities are really real and raw to me now, as I spend every week working on the issues of paroles and commutations and, substantively I see those disparities".

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