Governor Newsom to Halt Death Penalty; President Trump Is Not Thrilled

California Department of Water Resources

California has executed 13 inmates, while two were executed in other states.

Newsom said that as he spoke, the execution chamber at California's San Quentin State Prison was being dismantled and stressed that his order - which stands as long as he is governor - does not mean that any inmates already on death row would be released.

Newsom announced he's halting the death penalty - giving a reprieve to some 737 death row inmates, reports The Sacramento Bee. "It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent. But most of all, the death penalty is absolute, irreversible and irreparable in the event of a human error".

He 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".

California has not put an inmate to death since 2006, amid legal challenges to its execution protocols and discomfort among political leaders. No executions have been carried out since.

Human Rights Watch said that, with the governor's decision, California continues a trend in the USA of moving away from putting people to death. California's prison system has the largest death row population in the Western Hemisphere.

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. It will also contribute to a broader effort by death penalty abolitionists to oppose capital punishment through the legislative, judicial, and executive branches.

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Another 79 have died of natural causes, and a further 26 committed suicide, figures from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation show.

Flanked by Democratic party leaders, Newsom said he made a decision to take the move because elements of the death penalty, stalled in California since 2006, were suddenly moving forward on his watch. After that, a future governor could decide to resume executions.

Across the country, 18 states and Washington DC have abolished the death penalty and others have issued suspensions.

Nonetheless, Newsom's action is the latest indication of how California politics have changed around capital punishment. Cooper has long maintained his innocence, and former California Gov.

"Symbolically it is very significant", Robert Dunham, the executive director of the not-for-profit Death Penalty Information Center, told the Guardian.

Since 1973, five California inmates who were sentenced to death were later exonerated, his office said. Three were in Virginia, the only state that didn't support Trump in 2016 where executions have occurred since then. She won her party's nomination nonetheless, losing to Republican Pete Wilson in the general election later that year. That's more than four times the amount of the second-deadliest state, Virginia, where there were 113 executions, or the third-deadliest, which is Oklahoma with 112 executions.

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