Gavin Newsom (D) is putting a stop to the death penalty in California for now, issuing an executive order that provides temporary relief to more than 700 death row inmates, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The president has always been irked by the Democratic leadership in California, including the newly elected governor Gavin Newsom. It will not end the death penalty in the state, but will suspend it for the duration of Newsom's term.
He also argues that it doesn't act as a deterrent, wastes taxpayer dollars and is flawed because it is "irreversible and irreparable in the event of human error".
Stephen Lam / ReutersAn inmate stands against a fence at the Adjustment Center yard during a media tour of California's death row at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California 29 December, 2015.
California hasn't executed anyone since 2006, when Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor. No executions have been carried out since. A judge is reviewing the latest execution protocol submitted by the state, and Newsom believed that its approval could come soon - clearing the way for executions to begin in California again. A new execution protocol is under review, but Newsom's order will withdraw it.
Newsom noted that roughly 60 percent of death row inmates are people of color and many executed over the past year were mentally impaired.
On Wednesday, Assemblyman Marc Levine proposed giving Californians yet another chance to weigh in: the San Rafael Democrat is introducing a constitutional amendment that would abolish capital punishment if approved by voters in 2020.
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Seventy-nine condemned California inmates have died of natural causes since the state reinstated capital punishment in 1978.
"Our death penalty system has been - by any measure - a failure", Newsom explained. "At this time I don't see a legal challenge to the reprieve". That said, California now joins three other states - Oregon, Colorado and Pennsylvania - where governors have issued moratoriums on executions.
Newsom said his ultimate goal is to end capital punishment.
In 1986, voters essentially recalled California Chief Justice Rose Bird and two other associate Supreme Court justices appointed by former Gov.
California's death row is crowded with inmates, many of whom have been there for decades.
Since becoming governor, Newsom has been meeting with the families of victims, as well as law enforcement officials, while consulting with his legal team about what action to take. She won her party's nomination nonetheless, losing to Republican Pete Wilson in the general election later that year.
But as the state's demographics have changed, so too have California's politics. He added that he personally opposes the measure.
President Donald Trump claimed during a speech last week that California Gov. Gavin Newsom called him "one of the smartest people I've ever met", which the Democrat denied during a CNN interview last night.