Trump not 'thrilled' with California plan to halt executions

Leroy Wright
March 14, 2019

Human Rights Watch said that with the governor's decision, California continues a trend in the United States away from putting people to death.

California voters have repeatedly rejected abolishing capital punishment but there is a court imposed moratorium on the death penalty.

He said that roughly 60 percent of inmates waiting in the state to be executed are people of color while many criminals executed in the past year suffered from mental impairments, adding that in the past 45 years, 164 death-row inmates have been exonerated, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

President Donald Trump, who has suggested expanding the death penalty so drug dealers are subject to it, lamented that California's "stone cold killers" will not be executed under Newsom's order.

"We commend California Governor Gavin Newsom on this common-sense step". A Pew Research Center poll completed previous year found that a small majority of Americans support the death penalty but that those views were split by party.

Death penalty opponents hope California's suspension of executions will inspire other states to follow suit. "I visited prisons, met with formerly incarcerated people, and helped with cases of individual injustice - including two death penalty cases", Kim tweeted. A judge is reviewing the latest execution protocol submitted by the state, and Newsom believed that its approval could come soon - clearing the way for executions to begin in California again. Additionally, Newsom claims, citing a Santa Clara University Law Review study, that people convicted of killing whites were more likely to be sentenced to death than people convicted of killing blacks and Latinos.

California has not executed anyone since 2006, when Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor.

An armed California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officer is seen reflected in the window of a cell at San Quentin State Prison's death row adjustment center
California governor to place moratorium on death penalty

The Golden State has the largest death row in the United States, with some 737 inmates now residing there.

Governor Newsom took office in January and a death penalty moratorium was one of his campaign pledges. California voters even voted to fast-track death sentence appeals.

"The intentional killing of another person is wrong", Newsom said.

With Newsom's move, California joins Colorado, Pennsylvania and OR as the fourth state to place a moratorium on the death penalty, though the length and reasoning for the moratoriums vary from state to state.

In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday, Newsom calls the death penalty a "failure" that has discriminated against the mentally ill, minorities and the poor. At least 18 of the 25 people who were executed past year had significant evidence of mental illness, intellectually damaging brain injuries or chronic childhood trauma or abuse, according to a Death Penalty Information Center report released in December.

Brown said he was satisfied with his record number of pardons and commutations, though he never attempted to commute a death sentence, and with his sweeping changes that eased criminal penalties while reducing the prison population.

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