Trump Slams California After Governor Suspends Death Penalty

Geraldine Edwards
March 15, 2019

"And as governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual", Newsome will say, according to prepared remarks published by Buzzfeed.

President Donald Trump is speaking out against Governor Gavin Newsom's planned Executive Order to halt the state's death penalty executions.

The governor also pointed out that there have been occasions in which innocent people had been put to death after being wrongfully convicted.

There are 737 people now on death row in California.

A prosecutor says Newsom is usurping voters' will. "Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I", Trump said on Twitter.

Since California's last execution, its death row population has grown to house one of every four condemned inmates in the US.

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John Kennedy, R-La., recalling a favorite refrain of Monday Night Football announcers when a game was out of reach. The official was not authorized to publicly private conversations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

He rescinded those execution regulations and shuttered the state's never-used $853,000 execution chamber.

Newsom's decision will be officially announced on Wednesday, according to the NYT.

Newsom defended his decision in intensely personal terms.

"It's a very emotional place that I stand", Newsom told reporters after signing the order.

"I couldn't sleep at night", Newsom said at the state capitol, adding later, "Do we have the right to kill?" How do we do this right?

Just last month, the state Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for David Westerfield, convicted of the 2002 killing of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam.

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Aides said Newsom's power to grant reprieves is written into the state constitution and that he is not altering any convictions or allowing any condemned inmate a chance at an early release.

In his speech on Wednesday, the governor will highlight the racial disparities in sentencing - noting that 6 in 10 prisoners on California's death row are people of color - the cost of enforcing the death penalty and the number of innocent people who have been sentenced to death.

Democratic Assemblyman Marc Levine of Greenbrae plans to seek the two-thirds vote the Legislature requires to put another repeal measure on the 2020 ballot.

Michael Rushford of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation said: "I think this would be a bold step and I think he has got to be aware of the political downside". California voters narrowly approved a ballot measure to speed up executions in 2016. Justin Brooks, director of the California Innocence Project, lauded Newsom for ending the risk of executing someone who is innocent. At the same time, a poll from PPIC found that most Californians preferred life imprisonment to the use of the death penalty.

Newsom said his ultimate goal is to end capital punishment. A judge is reviewing the latest execution protocol submitted by the state, and Newsom believed that its approval could come soon - clearing the way for executions to begin in California again. "And if the Supreme Court doesn't do it, it may take 50 years for it to end", he said. The executive order he is expected to sign will also withdraw the state's lethal injection protocol and catalyze the dismantling of the execution room at San Quentin State Prison.

GOP Assemblyman Tom Lackey said Republicans were looking for a way to reverse Newsom's action but hadn't yet figured out how.

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If that option is voted down as well, the legislature will consider extending the Brexit deadline, now set for 29 March. Speaking immediately after the vote, Ms May said she profoundly regretted the decision the House had taken.

"It's not an abstract question any longer", he said. "We owe you and we need to do more and do better for victims in this state". "The death penalty is absolute".

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