Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order today putting a moratorium on the death penalty in California and shuttering the execution chamber at San Quentin, a move that overrides a decision the state's voters made in 2016 to maintain capital punishment.
Since the law does not change as a result of Newsom's order, California remains as one of the 30 states that has the death penalty.
Ultimately, Newsom decided the moratorium was in the best interest of the state, because he believes the death penalty "is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian".
Trump tweeted Wednesday that voters don't support Newsom's decision on behalf of the "737 stone cold killers".
The president has always been irked by the Democratic leadership in California, including the newly elected governor Gavin Newsom.
But Newsom's action angered death penalty proponents.
Death penalty opponents hope California's suspension of executions will inspire other states to follow suit. The state's lethal injection protocol was getting closer to being finalized and two dozen death row inmates had exhausted their appeals. Jerry Brown both "abandoned the state's defense of Proposition 8", which barred same-sex marriage in California.
"I was grateful to him", the governor said.
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His office said more than six in 10 condemned California inmates are minorities, citing racial disparities in who is sentenced to die.
He spoke about meeting men imprisoned in San Quentin State Prison, including a former high school classmate on death row and a foster brother who did time for dealing crack cocaine.
Newsom, whose state government is clashing with Trump over environmental regulations, Trump's promised border wall and plans for a bullet train, added he was still committed to working with the Trump White House on disaster preparedness. He's not commuting any death sentences, which in many cases would require agreement from the state Supreme Court.
Newsom is expected, in Wednesday morning remarks, to claim that his state's death penalty system is a waste of money and discriminates against the mentally ill and people of color.
"The death penalty has been an abject failure".
Newsom said he had anticipated that within a month he would have been asked to sign off on a new protocol for administering lethal injections to death row inmates, clearing the way for executions to begin again. More than three-quarters of Republicans support executions while only about a third of Democrats agree. (Who, it's worth mentioning, is the ex-husband of Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle.) California hasn't had an execution since 2006, when it executed Clarence Allen. Voters rejected ballot measures to end the death penalty in the state in 2012 and 2016.
"I don't think it's a harbinger of anything that matters because California is such an outlier and the places that need to change are all in the deep south", Mandery said. California's prison system has the largest death row population in the Western Hemisphere.