Sunday, 26 May, 2019

Executions are mostly a red-state phenomenon -- which helps explain Trump’s advocacy

Executions Gavin Newsom Trashes Trump's Claim He Called Him 'One Of The Smartest People'
Patty Aguilar | 13 March, 2019, 23:26

The 737 people on death row in California are the most of any state in America, the governor's office said. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., will sign an executive order Wednesday placing an indefinite moratorium on capital punishment.

"Governor Newsom, who supported the failed initiative to end the death penalty in 2006, is usurping the express will of California voters and substituting his personal preferences via this hasty and ill-considered moratorium on the death penalty", Michele Hanisee, the president of The Association of Deputy District Attorneys, said in a statement.

California has the most death row inmates in the US, according to Politico. Newsom also says innocent people have been wrongly convicted and sometimes executed. "It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can not afford expensive legal representation".

Since 1973, five California inmates who were sentenced to death were later exonerated, his office said. "It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent".

"California voters rejected the measure by a margin of 53% to 47%".

Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the pro-death penalty Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, called Newsom's actions "an abuse of power". "And as governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual", Newsome will say, according to prepared remarks published by Buzzfeed.

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And though voters in 2016 narrowly approved a ballot measure to speed up the punishment, no condemned inmate faced imminent execution. The reason for the lapse in executions is due to legal challenges against the state's method of lethal injection, the Los Angeles Times reported. It has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.

The death penalty is an archaic and unjust system, disproportionately condemning people of color and those with disabilities.

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".

Another key point of Newsom's argument is the wrongful conviction and subsequent overturning of inmates on death row. There is absolutely no evidence that the death penalty makes Californians safer, and it is both incredibly costly and burdensome.

Executions have increasingly been the domain of red states, thanks largely to Texas's dominance in capital punishment.

"We commend California Governor Gavin Newsom on this common-sense step". 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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