Gov. Gavin Newsom to End Death Penalty in California

This is terrific news: Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom will suspend the death penalty in California, saying that it's ineffective and cruel, and that he "will not oversee the execution of any individual."

Sophia Bollag at the Sacramento Bee reports:
Newsom plans to sign an executive order Wednesday morning granting reprieves to all 737 Californians awaiting executions — a quarter of the country's death row inmates.

His action comes three years after California voters rejected an initiative to end the death penalty, instead passing a measure to speed up executions.

Newsom says the death penalty system has discriminated against mentally ill defendants and people of color. It has not made the state safer and has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars, according to prepared remarks Newsom plans to deliver Wednesday morning when he signs the order.

"Our death penalty system has been — by any measure — a failure," Newsom plans to say. "The intentional killing of another person is wrong. And as governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual."
Too many (that is, any number greater than zero) death row inmates have been exonerated of the crimes for which they were convicted and sentenced for anyone who truly believes in justice to continue to support the death penalty.

I realize there are people who have no moral objection to the death penalty. There are even people who believe quite strongly that the death penalty is justice.

But refusing to care about its unequal application that disfavors people of color, people with mental illness, and people with cognitive disabilities isn't justice. Refusing to care that innocent people are sometimes killed isn't justice.

The death penalty doesn't exist and isn't applied in a vacuum. It isn't justice. And it must end.

I am grateful that Governor Newsom agrees.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus