“The Trump administration has chosen to join North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Russia’s Putin in executing their citizens,” said Governor Newsom. “The intentional killing of another person is wrong, and our death penalty system has been, by all measures, 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. Most of all, the death penalty is absolute. It’s irreversible and irreparable in the event of human error.”
On March 13, Governor Newsom signed an executive order placing a moratorium on the death penalty in California and closed the execution chamber in San Quentin State Prison. Since 1973, 166 condemned prisoners nationwide, including five in California, have been freed from death row after they were found to have been wrongfully convicted.