'Abject failure': California suspends death penalty

'Abject failure': California suspends death penalty

Three inmates convicted of San Luis Obispo County murders are now on death row: Michael Whisenhunt, Richard Benson and Rex Krebs.

"[Newsom] recognizes that California voters have spoken on the issue and, if elected governor, he'd respect the will of the electorate by following and implementing the law", said Dan Newman, a spokesman for Newsom when he was lieutenant governor.

But most of all, the death penalty is absolute.

Newsom's executive order completely goes against voters' wishes throughout the state. The California State Supreme Court initially outlawed the deal penalty in People v. Anderson in 1972.

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

"A study was done a number of years ago in Georgia, which showed that there was a very strong correlation between the race of the victim and discrimination, so that if you were black and your victim was white, you had up to 11 times greater chance of receiving death penalty than the other way around", said Finkelstein. 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. Shortly thereafter voters amended the State Constitution to make the death penalty legal.

The executive order will likely face legal challenges by pro-death penalty organizations and county prosecutors.

When asked about unsuccessful voter-initiated efforts to end the death penalty in the past, Newsom said he has the authority to end capital punishment. Twenty-five people on California's death row have exhausted all of their appeals.

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"I did this with the victims in mind", Newsom said.

The state has 737 people on death row.

Evan Mandery, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said that the governor's change shouldn't be seen as a bellwether for the country at large.

At that time, Newsom said he understood that the issue "raises deeply felt passions on all sides" but he believed that Americans ultimately would look back on the death penalty "as an archaic mistake".

They were replaced by Brown's successor, Republican tough-on-crime Gov. George Deukmejian, a former attorney general who oversaw a vast expansion of California's prison system before he left the governor's office in 1991.

The order will grant reprieve to 737 death row inmates, a quarter of all prisoners awaiting execution in the United States. (Who, it's worth mentioning, is the ex-husband of Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle.) California hasn't had an execution since 2006, when it executed Clarence Allen. A repeal would require a popular vote in favour of the change.

Newsom's aides said it has not yet been decided what will become of the execution chamber, or whether corrections officials have been told to stop preparing for executions, for instance by running drills. Another 26 committed suicide. "The fact that so many states have abolished the death penalty-but California hasn't-has given people cover for this narrative that people are still supportive the death penalty".

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