Trump not 'thrilled' with California plan to halt executions

Executions

ASSOCIATED PRESS Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the executive order placing a moratorium on the death penalty at his Capitol office Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. In 2014, a federal judge ruled that California's death penalty system deployed "arbitrary factors, rather than legitimate ones like the nature of the crime or the date of the death sentence, determine whether an individual will actually be executed".

In a tweet, President Donald Trump denounced the decision as a slap in the face for victims and their families.

The action suspends any further executions in California as long as Newsom is governor, his office said.

"I feel very uncomfortable as an administration, pursuing the death penalty", Newsom told reporters Wednesday.

Newsom, who became governor in January of this year, said the death penalty "has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can't afford expensive legal representation". That said, California now joins three other states - Oregon, Colorado and Pennsylvania - where governors have issued moratoriums on executions.

There are now 20 states and the District of Columbia that do not have the death penalty in their penal codes. "The intentional killing of another person is wrong". Voters also defeated a 2012 measure to end the death penalty.

He will sign an executive order putting a moratorium on the death penalty while he is governor despite voters expressing support for the death penalty in passing Proposition 66 in 2016 while a second initiative on that ballot to abolish the death penalty was defeated.

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Scheidegger also said California law requires prison officials to maintain the ability to carry out executions. Jerry Brown over their opposition to the death penalty.

"Here is the bottom line: Our death penalty system has been - by any measure - a failure", Newsom said in a statement, according to Politico. A Pew Research Center poll completed a year ago found that a small majority of Americans support the death penalty but that those views were split by party.

Saying the death penalty is "ineffective, irreversible and immoral", Newsom granted reprieves to all 737 Californians awaiting executions - sparing the lives of a quarter of the country's death row inmates as long as he is governor.

Newsom's decision comes after California voters have rejected ballot measures to abolish capital punishment twice since 2014. The move, which does not alter the convictions or sentences of any prisoners, made California the fourth state in the country to issue a moratorium on the death penalty, according to CNN. That's more than four times the amount of the second-deadliest state, Virginia, where there were 113 executions, or the third-deadliest, which is Oklahoma with 112 executions.

California hasn't executed anyone since 2006, when Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor.

"I do want to work with him on emergency preparedness and emergency planning", Newsom said.

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