Gov. Gavin Newsom to halt executions in California

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is expected to announce Wednesday that he is placing a moratorium on capital punishment in his state. The move will temporarily grant reprieves to all 737 California inmates awaiting execution, a quarter of those on death row in the U.S. Newsom says capital punishment is “fundamentally immoral” and biased against the mentally ill and people of color.

He also says it has wasted billions without making the public safer. “Our death penalty system has been — by any measure — a failure,” Newsom reportedly plans to say.

California has halted executions before, the last time in 2006.

Three years ago, the state’s voters rejected an initiative seeking to end the death penalty, and approved an effort to speed up executions.

“The voters of the State of California support the death penalty. That is powerfully demonstrated by their approval of Proposition 66 in 2016 to ensure the death penalty is implemented, and their rejection of measures to end the death penalty in 2016 and 2006, said Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, in a statement late Tuesday.

“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.”

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