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California governor places moratorium on executions

14 March 2019

"Defying voters, the Governor of California will halt all death penalty executions of 737 stone cold killers", Trump said.

In 2015, a federal district court judge ruled that an excessive delay in Jones' execution violated the Eighth Amendment barring cruel and unusual punishment, declaring California's death penalty unconstitutional.

Scheidegger said that Newsom can grant reprieves to condemned inmates but cannot order the closing of the death chamber or the halting of the effort to find a new lethal injection. "And we should not be okay with the risk that an innocent person could be executed".

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

In a tweet, President Donald Trump denounced the decision as a slap in the face for victims and their families. In that same election, state voters narrowly approved a measure to speed up death row inmates' executions by limiting their time for appeals to five years. "It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can't afford expensive legal representation", Newsom said in prepared remarks he is expected to deliver Wednesday morning.

"The death penalty is immoral, discriminatory, ineffective, and proven to be unequally applied", she added. But executions for more than 20 inmates who have exhausted their appeals could have resumed if those challenges were cleared up, and Newsom has said he anxious that it could happen soon.

The moratorium on the death penalty will last as long as Newsom holds office.

Newsom has long opposed the death penalty, but has been wrestling with what action to take as governor. "We're poised to potentially oversee the execution of more prisoners than any other state in modern history", Newsom said in an interview with the LA Times before issuing the moratorium.

But the op-ed also stated that prosecutors frequently decide not to enact or execute state law. In fact, the murder rate in states with the death penalty is consistently higher than in states without it.

Newsom's aides said it has not yet been decided what will become of the execution chamber, or whether corrections officials have been told to stop preparing for executions, for instance by running drills. The order will reprieve all individuals sentenced to death in California. Republican Illinois Governor George Ryan was the first in 2000 and was later followed by Pennsylvania, Washington and Oregon.

"Our death penalty system has been - by any measure - a failure".

Most industrialized nations have abolished the death penalty, yet the USA executes more people than any other democracy on the planet.

His order also points to the 164 people who have been freed from death row after they were found to be wrongfully convicted.

Seventy-nine condemned California inmates have died of natural causes since California reinstated capital punishment in 1978.

California governor places moratorium on executions