California Governor Gavin Newsom will reportedly sign an executive order Wednesday placing a moratorium on the death penalty in the Golden State and a reprieve for all 737 inmates on death row in the state.
Although California has not carried out an execution for thirteen years now, the new governor's move would suspend them further as long as he is in power. However, in California, unlike the rest of the country, the voters can repeal the death penalty that the locals already rejected near three years ago.
The new bill would serve as in fast retrieve for all the inmates on death row in the state, which has the longest death row population nationwide.
Furthermore, the order would also affect the San Quentin State Prison where they will close the execution chamber. In addition to that, the bill would also withdraw the state's lethal injection protocol.
The governor's office explicitly pointed out that the bill would not amend any ongoing conviction or sentence, and it would also not lead to the release of inmates on death row.
In a press statement, Gov. Newsom defined the US death penalty system as '' a failure''. He argued that it had not increased public safety, but it has cost billions of taxpayer money. More importantly, he said, the death penalty was irreversible in case of a human error.
According to sources familiar with its content, the executive order would also highlight that the death punishment was unfair and it was more often applied to people of color or those suffering from mental issues.
In his speech on Wednesday, Gov. Newsom would reportedly say that the death penalty "is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian." He would also assert that the intentional killing of another person is wrong and he would not oversee the execution of another human being.
In the last few years, public opinion on the death penalty in California has dramatically shifted. Despite the increasing number of local people who opted for a life sentence without the possibility of parole, in 2012 and 2016, the Californian voters rejected ball out measures to abolish the death penalty.
With the Newsom's bill, California becomes the fourth state to place a moratorium on the death penalty along with Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Oregon. It is important to mention that the length of the halts and the political logic behind them vary from state to state. Eighteen other US states and the District of Columbia have already abolished the death penalty.
What is your opinion on the topic? Do you approve the Gov. Newsom bill?