Gov. Gavin Newsom Halts Executions In California, Calls Death Penalty 'A Failure'

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The reality star says she met with California Governor Gavin Newsom and is supportive of his decision to end the death penalty in the Golden State.

Critics of the moratorium say Newsom's executive order ignores the will of the people since California voters in 2016 rejected a state ballot initiative to abolish the death penalty.

Ultimately, Newsom decided the moratorium was in the best interest of the state, because he believes the death penalty "is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian".

A condemned inmate stands in a cell in the yard outside of San Quentin State Prison's death row adjustment center on August 15, 2016 in San Quentin, California.

President Donald Trump, who has suggested expanding the death penalty so drug dealers are subject to it, lamented that California's "stone cold killers" will not be executed under Newsom's order.

Newsom explained that he spoke to the president "because I wanted to extend to him my appreciation" for his visit to California areas hit by wildfires and to "express the fact that the people in those communities were grateful to him".

This could create a challenge for Newsom, since his executive order would be denying the will of the California people.

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Trump has always been an advocate of the death penalty, even before he entered politics. In February, the association representing deputy district attorneys in Los Angeles County accused the state's elected officials of foot-dragging on enforcing the death penalty and of substituting their own values for the ratified votes of the majority of California's electorate.

The order will also immediately close the execution chamber at San Quentin and states that the directive "does not provide for the release of any individual from prison or otherwise alter any current conviction or sentence", according to Newsom's office.

His administration's regulations are stalled by challenges in both state and federal court, but those lawsuits may be halted now that Newsom is officially withdrawing the regulations.

The last time an inmate was executed in California was in 2006 under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Twenty-four people now on California's death row were convicted of murder and have exhausted all of their appeals, the Times reported.

"Racial bias and unfairness run deep throughout the justice system but especially when it comes to the death penalty".

The California governor does not have the power to abolish the state's 1978 death penalty legislation permanently. Its death row has the most inmates of any US state.

Brown said he was satisfied with his record number of pardons and commutations, though he never attempted to commute a death sentence, and with his sweeping changes that eased criminal penalties while reducing the prison population. A 2014 study by the National Academy of Sciences determined that one in every 25 inmates on death row in the United States was sentenced to die for crimes they did not commit.

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