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|March 22, 2019|
Newsom: Death penalty discriminates; Bill would abolish capital punishment
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Gavin Newsom is putting a moratorium on the death penalty in California, sparing the lives of more than 700 death-row inmates.
Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday granting reprieves to all 737 Californians awaiting executions – a quarter of the country’s death row inmates, the Sacramento Bee reported.
His action comes three years after California voters rejected an initiative to end the death penalty, instead passing a measure to speed up executions.
Newsom says the death penalty system has discriminated against mentally ill defendants and people of color. It has not made the state safer and has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, (R-Lake Elsinore), reacted to Newsom’s suspension of the death penalty saying ““It’s a sad day for the victims’ families who will never see justice served for the loss of their loved ones who were taken savagely and prematurely.”
In another development, a statewide coalition of lawmakers has introduced Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 12, to abolish the death penalty in California.
As introduced, ACA 12 would require re-sentencing in existing death penalty cases to a sentence of lifetime imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The constitutional amendment is co-authored by 23 members of the Legislature.
Story Date: March 18, 2019