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California Gov. Gavin Newsom Suspends Death Penalty, Calls System ‘a Failure’

California Gov. Gavin Newsom Suspends Death Penalty, Calls System ‘a Failure’

The order gives a reprieve for the 737 people on death row, including several real monsters.

California Governor Gavin Newsom took his pen in hand this week, and signed an order putting an executive moratorium on the death penalty in the state.

The action suspends any further executions in California as long as Newsom is governor. But only California voters can repeal the death penalty, something they rejected narrowly three years ago.

Newsom also ordered the immediate closure of the state’s execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison. The order does not otherwise change any existing convictions or sentences — and will not lead to any death row inmates being released.

“Our death penalty system has been — by any measure — a failure,” Newsom said in a written statement. “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 a human error.”

The order gives a reprieve to the 737 people on death row, including several real monsters.

Here are some of the criminals that get to live their lives for a little bit longer – without fear of execution – following Newsom’s decision:

SCOTT PETERSON: The disappearance of Scott’s 27-year old wife, Laci Peterson — who was 8 months pregnant – gripped the nation in the early 2000s yet ended in tragedy after her body was found dumped in San Francisco Bay. Peterson, in a nationally televised case, was found guilty of her and their unborn son’s murder and was exposed to be living a double life, also having an affair with a massage therapist.

Dubbed by the media as the “Tool Box Killer”, Bittaker was one half of a sadistic duo convicted of raping and killing five teen girls in 1979 after torturing them with household items such as pliers and screwdrivers. Four of his five victims were under the age of 17, and Bittaker has been living his life on death row for more than double the number of years they were alive….

RANDY KRAFT: Kraft, who came to be known as the “Scorecard Killer,” murdered at least 16 young men over a period of 11 years beginning in 1972. He is also believed to have committed the rape and murder of up to 51 other boys and young men, with many victims who had previously been enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Not surprisingly, the move is not entirely popular with the Californians who voted to retain the death death penalty in 2016.

Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, called Newsom’s actions “an abuse of power.”

Scheidegger’s organization was the main backer of Proposition 66, a statewide ballot measure that voters approved in 2016 to fast-track executions in California, potentially speeding up executions. During that same election, voters rejected a separate ballot measure — Proposition 62 — to abolish the death penalty, marking the second time since 2012 that Californians voted against repealing capital punishment.

Scheidegger said families of murder victims could challenge Newsom in court, but he was not sure if the result would be worth the effort. The state constitution gives the governor wide latitude to issue reprieves, he said.

Given that California’s political leaders embrace #Resistance, ignoring the will of the voters is part of the package. However, the hypocrisy associated with Newsom’s act has not gone unnoticed.


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and will not lead to any death row inmates being released.

Not yet.

brightlights | March 14, 2019 at 6:46 pm

They have 700+ on death row? I didn’t know it was that many. They also haven’t executed anyone since 2006. That makes the ‘death penalty’ almost meaningless.

Now we just need an earthquake to his the Death Row Prisons!

A failure? Hardly. One of the few things in this world that’s 100% effective. Executed inmates have a recidivism rate of zero.

    alaskabob in reply to danoso. | March 14, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    We still have an imperfect system. One way to assure an innocent person is not put to death is not to put anyone to death. There are very straight forward cases where this isn’t an issue.

    We have a evolving society that eliminates the nuisance of a baby and wants to address the similar nuisance of an aged person on a cost basis. There is assisted suicide. We are getting comfortable with eliminating everyone except those that commit heinous crimes. Being a murderer guarantees life… well as least .. existence with room, board, medical care and supervision.

SpaceInvader | March 14, 2019 at 7:37 pm

A person going to jail is a failure of the system. Things need to be done long before people are incarcerated. Studdies show that harsh punishment does not have much effect stopping criminal behavior. What has show to be effective is catching someone most of the time they commit a crime and correcting them. If every time a kid steals a candy bar he gets it taken away and a smack on the hand he will stop after only a few tries. If he does it over and over with the threat of chopping off his hand and he gets away with it..until he doesn’t. Chances are he will do it again and lose both hands…

    gospace in reply to SpaceInvader. | March 14, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Studies have also shown that 100% of criminals put to death never commit another crime, making it even more effective at stopping criminal behavior.

    alaskabob in reply to SpaceInvader. | March 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    50% of first time offenders get the message. If one becomes a second time offender 85% go on to additional criminal activity. That isn’t a failure of the system… that is a study in human nature.

    Forget the death penalty as a deterrent these days. But it is a social compact that signifies the value of a life taken. If we could guarantee that every second of the rest of the criminal’s life was filled with remorse and anguish for their actions… then that would be a consideration for life sentence.

    The old punishment of strapping a dead body to the criminal and letting the criminal walk away on completion of the sentence.. that is.. when the body rotted off definitely sent a message.

People do not really understand the purpose of legal execution. It is not for deterrent value. Studies have shown that criminals rarely consider the possibility that they will be caught. And, the same is true of incarceration. What incarceration does is remove criminals from the general population, in order to protect society. What execution does is preclude the chance that a violent criminal will ever become a future danger to society be reentering it; either through escape or some future legal machination. That is why it is reserved for extremely vicious criminal acts. As it is irreversible, once carried out, there is a painstaking appeal process in place.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Mac45. | March 16, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    The appeal process needs to be fast tracked. There is no justice when murderers get to waste good air for an extra decade or two, while taxpayers are paying the freight.

He’s shuttering the abortion chambers and tearing down the walls? Ending the liberal rite of summary judgment and cruel and unusual punishment? Progress.

gavin newsome, a one man legal sledgehammer, just like rose bird. He has signalled his desire to make California a sanctuary state. Probably wants to give illegals and felons the right to vote. democrats want to create as much societal chaos possible, then sell more government control as the cure. He is going to over reach, and should remember good old gray “re-call” davis.

I wholeheartedly support the death penalty in principle, but in practice in the US Judicial system, I agree with those who’d bring it to a stop.

The problem is that there are virtually zero consequences for overzealous prosecutors who flat out commit crimes in their need to “win” big cases.

The use of “jailhouse snitches” of questionable (to put it politely) integrity, neglecting to turn over possible exculpatory evidence to the defense, flat out lying to the court about evidence*, obtaining false testimony from police, professional “expert witnesses” who basically make their living testifying at trials because they’ll say what the prosecution wants them to, coerced confessions after hours and hours of interrogation, etc etc etc.

And, when poor practices are exposed, it is EXTREMELY rare that a prosecutor or crooked cop receives any punishment at all.

So, we end up with a not insignificant number of people being convicted of crimes they didn’t commit.

I understand we’ll never be able to absolutely guarantee that only the guilty are convicted…mistakes happen, but when our judicial system aids and abets it for refusing to hold prosecutors and cops accountable for criminal acts, and when prosecutors are valued more highly for high conviction rates than for serving the cause of justice, we’re flat encouraging false convictions. I cannot support the application of capital punishment in the current environment because I do not trust our judicial system to fairly and honestly determine who the bad guys really are.

*in a local high profile murder trial in my area, there were several instances of the prosecution lying to the court, some so blatant that the judge had no choice but to acknowledge them, but the (long standing, high profile) prosecutor was never sanctioned in any way other than a stern talking to by the judge. “Don’t do that again or I’ll tell you again not to do that again”

Bitterlyclinging | March 15, 2019 at 7:55 am

Governor Pompadour continuing on the Democratic Tradition of being given an inch, but taking a mile pioneered by none other than our former Constitution trampling and shredding, defying the will of the people president, Baracky Obammunist.
Sooner or later, folks like Governor Pompadour have to be told enough is enough is enough.
Mexifornia is rapidly becoming a boil on the people’s rump in serious need of lancing.

Will the newly emancipated and formerly convicted murderers be given the right to vote? or, his intended strategy to attract all felons into his loyal constituency? Hmmm…

Interesting how the previous vote of the ‘people’ doesn’t stand in his way, nor cast a shadow on his recent landslide election. Hmmm… Bercerra and co. are already in his pocket so whatever the vote, who cares. It’s legal! Gavi-boy always wins.

Am I surprized? Nope! You go, Gavi-boy! Burn it down! Burn it all down!