Newly-elected California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a halt to executions and shut down the Death Chamber. He granted reprieves to all 737 people on Death Row that will stay in effect while he is in office. Most legal experts say that he has the constitutional authority to commute the death sentences of many of those on Death Row to life. Newsom stated that he plans to do so as a next step. His decision is expected to be challenged in the courts by death penalty proponents. Read more here.
“I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people,” Newsom’s Wednesday’s announcement reads, “It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can’t afford expensive legal representation. It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent. It has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.”
A 2012 cost study calculated that if the Governor commuted the sentences of those remaining on death row to life without parole, it would result in an immediate savings of $170 million per year, with a savings of $5 billion over the next 20 years.
FLORIDA: Two bills have been introduced in the Florida Legislature to end the use of Florida’s Death Penalty: Senate Bill 472 “Death Penalty” and House Bill 6013 “Death Penalty”. Urge your legislator to co-sponsor these “Death Penalty” bills.
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