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Gov. Gavin Newsom Suspends Death Penalty In California

13 March 2019

The 737 inmates on California's death row got a reprieve from Gov. Gavin Newsom when he signed an executive order Wednesday placing a moratorium on executions. California has executed 13 inmates, while two were executed in other states.

Calif., Gov. Gavin Newsom will sign an order on Wednesday imposing a moratorium on California's death penalty.

"Here is the bottom line: Our death penalty system has been - by any measure - a failure", Newsom said in a statement, according to Politico.

"You can't make this up, Anderson", the governor said.

Newsom plans to say that the death penalty is racist and classist.

The governor is meant to sign the new order later on Wednesday. Federal courts ordered a halt to executions until the California department of corrections and rehabilitation (CDCR) could ensure its lethal injection protocol was administered without risk of exposing inmates to excessive pain. Human Rights Watch believes these rights can not be reconciled with the death penalty, a form of punishment unique in its cruelty and finality.

Since California's last execution, its death row population has grown to house one of every four condemned inmates in the United States. After that, a future governor could decide to resume executions.

Kim Kardashian West is once again using her platform to advocate for political change. In recent years, other states have abolished the death penalty and several other governors have placed moratoriums on executions.

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.

Newsom also withdrew the lethal injection regulations that death penalty opponents already have tied up in courts and moved to shutter a new execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison that has never been used.

Executions have increasingly been the domain of red states, thanks largely to Texas's dominance in capital punishment. No inmates will be released as a result of the directive nor will any current sentences be altered. The order will not alter any current conviction or sentence, or lead to the release of any prisoner now on death row.

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.

"There is a lot of literature and studies out there that show that the death penalty is a deeply broken system for a lot of different reasons", the American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney Shilpi Agarwal said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom Suspends Death Penalty In California