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California governor may commute death sentences

California governor may commute death sentences

Prepared remarks by Newsom cite racial discrimination and wrongful convictions, as well as the high cost to taxpayers.

Saying the death penalty is "ineffective, irreversible and immoral", Newsom granted reprieves to all 737 Californians awaiting executions - sparing the lives of a quarter of the country's death row inmates as long as he is governor.

Governor Newsom called the death penalty "a failure" that "has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can't afford expensive legal representation". No death row inmates will be released under the order. Newsom said he anxious that the executions of more than 20 inmates who have exhausted their appeals would be resumed.

Human Rights Watch said that with the governor´s decision, California continues a trend in the United States away from putting people to death. Democratic lawmakers introduced a ballot measure to do so next year.

But while six senators and 17 assembly members are supporting Levine's proposed constitutional ban on executions, that's a long way from the 27 Senate and 54 Assembly votes required to put the measure on the 2020 ballot.

This morning, he said he changed his mind because his decision whether to permit executions had become more urgent. Voters also defeated a 2012 measure to end the death penalty.

Prison staff remove the electric chair from San Quentin, March 13, 2019, after Gov. Gavin Newsom placed a moratorium on the death penalty.

Gavin Newsom will sign an executive order on Wednesday imposing a moratorium on the death penalty and granting temporary reprieves to all 737 condemned inmates on death row.

"Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I!" he tweeted Wednesday.

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Prior to 2018, he rushed for more than 1,200 yards in three of the past four seasons and is one of the NFL's most versatile backs. And perhaps that's because Dante Scarnecchia, the Patriots offensive line coach, has a track record of developing left tackles.

He also supports repealing the death penalty.

Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey, a former highway patrolman, accused Newsom of going back on his word to voters not to interfere with executions. "You've got to remember, you've got families that are reeling from the brutal nature in which they lost their loved ones".

"I've fought for 25 years for the death penalty, and for what?", she said. However, his team believe that the power with which he made the executive order is given to him by the constitution of the state.

California has not executed a prisoner since 2006 because of a series of legal challenges to its lethal injection method.

Newsom's order also argues the death penalty is applied disproportionately to people of color.

California is one of 31 states with capital punishment, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. He said having a governor campaign against the death penalty could make the difference in convincing voters to repeal it.

"Governor Newsom has demonstrated great courage and leadership in ending the cruel, costly, and unfair practice of executing prisoners", said Alison Parker, US managing director at Human Rights Watch.

The order also shuts down the execution chamber at San Quentin prison, which has not been used since 2013. The prosecution later dropped charges and Jones was set free, according to Death Penalty Information Center.

"The question is how it ends, and Texas will need to be dragged kicking and screaming into modern times and it may take the Supreme Court to do that. It doesn't work. And we have to keep educating people about this", Green said in the interview.


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