Calif. Gov. Expected to Seek Elimination of Death Penalty

on Mar13
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2019-03-13 00:18:47

Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to announce taking executive action to eliminate the use of the death penalty in California.

Two sources familiar with the governor’s plans tell NBC4’s I-Team that Newsom will use the governor office’s authority to affect the sentences of all condemned inmates on death row, so they wound not face an execution.

“I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premediated and discriminatory execution of its people,” Newsom said in a written statement shared with selected media outlets.

Newsom has been calling elected officials around the state to share some information, but the official announcement is expected to come in a news conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Several sources familiar with the Governor’s planned announcement said the the governor’s office sent emails that included the phrase, “…will announce a death penalty moratorium via executive action.”

An administration source in the governor’s office said the order does the following:

1. Puts in place an executive moratorium on the death penalty in the form of a reprieve for all individuals sentenced to death in California.

2. Withdrawals California’s lethal injection protocol

3. Immediately closes the execution chamber at San Quentin

4. States clearly the directive does not provide for the release of any individual from prison or otherwise alter any current conviction or sentence.

Newsom has been openly advocating for a moratorium on the death penalty and told the LA Times this week that he has asked his legal advisers to research his options as governor.

The District Attorney’s Association issued a statement on the planned announcement:

“The voters of the State of California support the death penalty,” Michele Hanisee, President of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys said in the statement. “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. Governor Newsom, who supported the failed initiative to end the death penalty in 2006, is usurping the express will of California voters and substituting his personal preferences via this hasty and ill-considered moratorium on the death penalty.”

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