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Indybay Feature
Sun Mar 31 2019 (Updated 04/02/19)
Governor Newsom Suspends Death Penalty in California
All 737 California Death Row Prisoners Granted Reprieve from State Execution
Governor Gavin Newsom signed a sweeping order on March 13 putting an executive moratorium on California's death penalty, thus ordering a reprieve for the 737 people on death row. The action suspends any further executions in California as long as Newsom is governor. But only California voters can repeal the death penalty, which they narrowly rejected in 2016 when Proposition 62 to end the death penalty failed and Proposition 66 to speed up executions passed.

Newsom also ordered the immediate closure of the state's execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison. The order does not otherwise change any existing convictions or sentences — and will not lead to any death row inmates being released. The executive order argued that capital punishment is inherently unfair and is applied more often to people of color and those with mental disabilities.

"Our death penalty system has been — by any measure — a failure," Newsom said in a written statement. "It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent. It has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars. But most of all, the death penalty is absolute, irreversible and irreparable in the event of a human error."

photo Read More | Jerry Brown's Cowardly Exit — Could Have Emptied Death Row

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