Newsom's reason for the executive order?
Newsom is a Democrat who took office in January and a long-standing opponent of the death penalty, which was last carried out in California in 2006. No inmates will be released as a result of the directive nor will any current sentences be altered.
It's not new that there's a partisan divide on the death penalty.
"For the past year, I have immersed myself in learning about the criminal justice system", Kardashian West began.
California voters have, more than once, affirmed their desire for a death penalty. "It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can't afford expensive legal representation", Newsom said in prepared remarks he is expected to deliver Wednesday morning. CA has the largest death row in the country.
"The intentional killing of another person is wrong", he said, "and as governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual".
His office insisted he has the authority to impose the moratorium because he is not changing or commuting death sentences.
Other governors also have enacted moratoriums.
Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the pro-death penalty Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, called Newsom's actions "an abuse of power". Republican Illinois Governor George Ryan was the first in 2000 and was later followed by Pennsylvania, Washington and Oregon. Governor Newsom supported both initiatives.
Newsom has recognized the cruelty, the moral and fiscal costs, and the discriminatory nature of death sentencing in the state.
Senator Kamala Harris, who is among a crowded field of candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said she welcomed Newsom's move to end the "deeply flawed system of capital punishment in California". "The disparities are really real and raw to me now, as I spend every week working on the issues of paroles and commutations and, substantively I see those disparities".
Newsom cited one offender serving a sentence of 57 years-to-life for injuring three people, while another offender was sentenced to 17 years-to-life for a double murder: "One happened to be of one race, one happened to be another race". He also said innocent people have been wrongly convicted and sometimes put to death.
Newsom's executive order completely goes against voters' wishes throughout the state.
Newsom's decision will be officially announced on Wednesday, according to the NYT. In recent years, other states have abolished the death penalty and several other governors have placed moratoriums on executions. "I've carved out my piece of all this".
A condemned inmate stands in a cell in the yard outside of San Quentin State Prison's death row adjustment center on August 15, 2016 in San Quentin, California.
Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, which has been fighting in court to force the state to resume executions, said blocking Newsom's move may be hard.