Governor Gavin Newsom Announces Moratorium on Capital Punishment in California

On Wednesday, March 13, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-09-19 (the “Order”) granting a stay of execution to the 700 plus inmates on death row in the state. The Order also closes the state’s death penalty chamber located in San Quentin prison and withdraws California’s legal injection protocol.

A long time opponent of the death penalty, Governor Newsom issued the Order stating, “I cannot sign off on executing hundreds and hundreds of human beings, knowing — knowing — that among them will be innocent human beings.” The move is seen as yet another example of California separating itself from the policies of President Trump, a death penalty proponent.

By issuing this Order, California joins 20 other states which have ended capital punishment. The move by Governor Newsom is expected to receive opposition within the state, which, in 2016, approved Proposition 66 with 51 percent of the vote, speeding up the death penalty appeals process.

More Resources

California Death Penalty Suspended; 737 Inmates Get Stay of Execution, The New York Times, March 13, 2019

California Executive Order N-09-19, March 13, 2019

Articles and analysis of the death penalty from Justia’s Verdict

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