California governor suspends death penalty

California governor halts executions statewide — granting temporary reprieve to 737 death row inmates

U.S. President Donald Trump was sharply critical of California, after the governor of the country's most populous state planned to issue an executive moratorium suspending the death penalty.

The moratorium will be in place for the duration of Newsom's time in office, the governor's office said.

"I wanted to express the fact that the people in those communities were grateful to him".

"Here is the bottom line: Our death penalty system has been - by any measure - a failure", Newsom said in a statement, according to Politico. "So no, I can't admit that's what I said to the president privately because that's not what I said".

"For the previous year, I have immersed myself in learning about the criminal justice system", Kardashian, 38, tweeted late Tuesday night.

It does not provide for the release of any death row inmates from prison. Voters also narrowly approved a ballot measure that requires fast-tracking the appeals process in capital punishment cases.

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.

Three inmates convicted of San Luis Obispo County murders are now on death row: Michael Whisenhunt, Richard Benson and Rex Krebs.

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

US Senator Kamala Harris, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, applauded Newsom's decision. The American Civil Liberties Union called it "a watershed moment in the fight for racial equity and equal justice for all". "That doesn't make it the right thing to do", Scheidegger said.

Today, it's hard to find a mainstream Democrat in California who supports the death penalty. Scott Wiener of San Francisco and the state assembly's Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, who praised Newsom for doing "what's right, even when it's tough", in Gonzalez's words.

While the governor's move is certain to be challenged in court, aides say his power to grant reprieves is written into the state's constitution. A governor needs approval from the state Supreme Court to pardon or commute the sentence of anyone twice convicted of a felony, and the justices past year blocked several clemency requests by former Gov. Jerry Brown over their opposition to the death penalty.

Other governors also have enacted moratoriums. Republican Illinois Governor George Ryan was the first in 2000 and was later followed by Pennsylvania, Washington and Oregon.

The governors of Pennsylvania, Washington and OR have imposed moratoriums on executions, and the former Colorado governor refused to execute someone on death row. It has not made the state safer and has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars, according to prepared remarks Newsom plans to deliver Wednesday morning when he signs the order. "Other people I've seen literally put to death for lesser crimes, and that concerns me". Thirty-six states have either abolished the death penalty, put executions on hold or not carried out an execution in at least five years.

Newsom's executive order is set to regulate executions until he leaves office. But prisoners convicted of murder continue to be sentenced to death in local courtrooms. "I've carved out my piece of all this". Levine's district includes San Quentin State Prison. Three were in Virginia, the only state that didn't support Trump in 2016 where executions have occurred since then. Another 26 committed suicide.

The policy will serve as an instant reprieve for the 737 people on death row in California, which has the largest death row population in the nation.

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