California has the largest death row population in the U.S.by far, housing 25 percent of the country's condemned inmates.
While Newsom and many advocates favor ending the death penalty, the California people voted in 2016 to keep it for those convicted for first-degree murder. Despite California's liberal reputation and growing unease with the death penalty, voters have repeatedly repudiated efforts to abolish it.
The move has been...
California's death row is crowded with inmates, many of whom have been there for decades.
"I would not get my personal opinions in the way of the public's right to make a determination of where they want to take us" on the death penalty, he said.
"Governor Newsom has demonstrated great courage and leadership in ending the cruel, costly, and unfair practice of executing prisoners", said Alison Parker, US managing director at Human Rights Watch.
On Wednesday, Gov. Newsom announced he's halting the death penalty - giving a reprieve to some 737 death row inmates, reports The Sacramento Bee. 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".
The gas chamber now has a sign reading CLOSED
Newsom supported a failed 2016 ballot initiative to repeal executions in the state.
Opponents could also mount a legal challenge to Newsom's rescinding of the lethal injection regulations and closing the death chamber, which he said violates a state law requiring corrections officials to be ready to carry out executions.
Newsom plans to say that the death penalty is racist and classist. The order will not alter any current conviction or sentence, or lead to the release of any prisoner now on death row.
"For the a year ago, I have immersed myself in learning about the criminal justice system", Kardashian West began.
"We commend California Governor Gavin Newsom on this common-sense step".
Among the groups most supportive of the issue are white evangelical Protestants; more than 7 in 10 support the use of the death penalty. In recent years, other states have abolished the death penalty and several other governors have placed moratoriums on executions.
"We certainly thank and commend the governor for leadership on this because California's death penalty system is broken beyond fix", said David Loy, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union for San Diego and Imperial Counties. It comes as some 20 men now on the state's death row have finally exhausted their opportunities for appeal, which is what prompted Newsom to act. And we can't help but wonder if this decision belongs to the people of California as much as it does to a single person.
Since 1973, a total of 164 prisoners nationally - including five from California - have been freed after they were wrongfully convicted, according to "The Innocence List" maintained by The Death Penalty Information Center.