Newsom dismisses criticism over his moratorium on California death row executions

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When Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday putting a moratorium on the death penalty in California, he called it the culmination of a personal, 40-year journey.

California has 737 inmates on death row, more than any other state, with 25 of the condemned inmates having exhausted all of their appeal efforts.

The lethal injection chamber at San Quentin State Prison, photographed in 2010.

California's executions were halted in 2006 when a condemned inmate challenged the state's protocol for lethal injection, ensnaring California in legal challenges that continue today.

Human Rights Watch said that, with the governor's decision, California continues a trend in the U.S. of moving away from putting people to death.

California's death row is crowded with inmates, many of whom have been there for decades. Cooper has long maintained his innocence, and former California Gov.

The California governor does not have the power to abolish the state's 1978 death penalty legislation permanently.

While the governor's move is certain to be challenged in court, aides say his power to grant reprieves is written into the state Constitution and that he is not altering any convictions or allowing any condemned inmate a chance at an early release.

San Quentin State Prison in California
California governor to place moratorium on death penalty

ASSOCIATED PRESSCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom. "Their system has had multiple innocence issues and is overrun with issues of racial and socioeconomic bias", said Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty in a statement. "In short, the death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian".

Studies show the death penalty disproportionately affects minority communities and people with mental illnesses.

"And we should not be okay with the risk that an innocent person could be executed", she continued. Jerry Brown over their opposition to the death penalty.

In a tweet, President Donald Trump denounced the decision as a slap in the face for victims and their families. Richard Allen Davis was later sentenced to death for kidnapping, raping and murdering her. But only California voters can repeal the death penalty, something they rejected narrowly three years ago.

At the time of the case, The San Francisco Chronicle argued in an opinion piece, "Why Does Kamala Harris Defend the Death Penalty?" that prosecutors have wide discretion when recommending punishment for defendants with "no obligation to pursue the death penalty".

Most industrialized nations have abolished the death penalty, yet the USA executes more people than any other democracy on the planet. It doesn't free anyone on death row.

"The death penalty is immoral, discriminatory, ineffective, and proven to be unequally applied", she added. "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".

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