Governor Gavin Newsom will impose a moratorium Wednesday on carrying out the death penalty in California, granting a reprieve to the 737 inmates on death row - the largest such group in the United States. Nor should it be surprising that President Trump weighed in Wednesday morning to oppose Newsom's move.
"Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I!" he tweeted Wednesday. Trump has cultivated an image of himself as a tough-on-crime president and has said drug dealers should face the ultimate penalty. "It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can not afford expensive legal representation".
More than 900 people have been sentenced to death in California since 1978 but only 13 have been executed. "I do want to rise above this politics, I think that's important and I think people expect that". Back then, the people voted on Proposition 62, which would have reduced the sentences for those convicts from the death penalty to life in prison without parole. "Their system has had multiple innocence issues and is overrun with issues of racial and socioeconomic bias", said Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty in a statement.
"Our death penalty system has been - by any measure - a failure", Newsom will say.
Ellen Kreitzberg, a death penalty expert and opponent at Santa Clara University law school in California, welcomed Newsom's move.
Newsom added, however, that he won't tolerate Trump continuing his attacks on California.
"I have met with and am very supportive of Governor Newsom and his decision to help bring an end to the California Death Penalty".
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Malaysian officials have never officially accused North Korea and have made it clear they don't want the trial politicized. She flew back to Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, later Monday and thanked the president and other officials for their help.
The order will also immediately close the execution chamber at San Quentin and states that the directive "does not provide for the release of any individual from prison or otherwise alter any current conviction or sentence", according to Newsom's office.
Since 1973, five California inmates who were sentenced to death were later exonerated, his office said.
But Alison Parker, U.S. managing director at Human Rights Watch, praised Newsom's "great courage and leadership in ending the cruel, costly, and unfair practice of executing prisoners", calling for other states to follow California's lead.
Marc Klaas, a prominent victim's rights advocate, said Newsom told him personally Tuesday of his intention to sign the order in Sacramento, and he is not happy.
But he had support from Democratic lawmakers including Sen. Shortly thereafter voters amended the State Constitution to make the death penalty legal.
In 2014, support for the death penalty among Democrats dropped under 50 percent in Pew's polling, the first year in which that happened.
California is one of 31 states with capital punishment.