California Suspends Death Penalty

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

California governor Gavin Newsom will sign an executive order placing a moratorium on the state's use of the death penalty on Wednesday morning, according to the governor's office. "And as Governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual", he will say, according to his office.

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".

"Conservative estimates suggest 4 percent of people on death row are innocent".

With 24 inmates on death row who have exhausted their appeals, Newsom in February said he feared California could potentially execute "more prisoners than any other state in modern history" if no action was taken.

Mike Semanchik, managing attorney for the California Innocence Project - which works to exonerate inmates on death row - cheered the move.

Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager, president of the California District Attorneys Association, also criticized Newsom for circumventing the will of a majority of voters.

"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".

Newsom said the death penalty isn't a deterrent, wastes taxpayer dollars and is flawed because it is "irreversible and irreparable in the event of human error". The California Constitution gives the governor power to grant reprieves to inmates, providing he reports his reasoning to the Legislature.

Cohen lost everything, why lie now?
President Trump is saying his former lawyer Michael Cohen told a "stone cold lie " in claiming that he did not seek a pardon. Weisselberg's name also emerged a year ago when CNN obtained and published audio of a 2016 conversation between Mr.

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. Four years later San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, an ardent opponent of capital punishment, was narrowly elected as state attorney general.

Kim Kardashian West, who has championed criminal justice reform and successfully lobbied President Donald Trump to commute a Tennessee woman's life sentence, said she was "very supportive" of the governor's decision.

However, in 2012 and again in 2016, Californian voters rejected ballot measures aimed at abolishing the death penalty.

The governor told Cooper he called Trump privately to thank him for visiting Butte County in the aftermath of last year's deadly wildfires, the cause of which was its own source of discord between the two men.

"I think we hear what we want to hear", he said. Another 26 committed suicide.

His move will also withdraw California's lethal injection protocol and close down the state's execution chamber at San Quentin prison.

More than 900 people have been sentenced to death in California since 1978 but only 13 have been executed.

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