California Governor Gavin Newsom is reportedly staying all executions and signing a moratorium that will effectively end the death penalty in the state.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is scheduled to sign an executive order Wednesday that would place a moratorium on the state's death penalty, according to his office.
NBC Los Angeles learned of Newsom's plan to use his executive authority to halt the use of the death penalty early Tuesday evening through law enforcement sources.
A subsequent statement from the governor's office detailed the plan to halt the death penalty for all 737 people on California's death row, the nation's largest. The statement includes prepared remarks Newsom planned to deliver at a Wednesday morning news conference.
"Here is the bottom line," the remarks read: "Our death penalty system has been — by any measure — a failure. It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can’t afford expensive legal representation. It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent. It has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars. But most of all, the death penalty is absolute. Irreversible and irreparable in the event of human error."
The move comes as a judge was expected to rule on California's recently submitted execution protocol to establish a constitutional method for lethal injection. A ruling in favor of the protocol would reopen the door to executions, according to Newsom's office. California's last execution was in 2006.
His executive action will include a reprieve for all of the state's death row inmates, a withdrawal of the state's lethal injection protocol and "immediate" closure of the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison, according to the statement.
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