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California governor halts death penalty

by Harvest Prude
Posted 3/13/19, 11:05 am

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday that puts a moratorium on capital punishment, delaying the execution of 737 death row inmates. The order also closes the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison and effectively withdraws the state’s lethal injection protocol. The moratorium will last as long as Newsom is governor.

California has the most death row inmates of any state. The last execution was carried out in 2006. Voters chose to keep the death penalty in 2012. In 2016, 51 percent of Californians rejected a measure to end the practice and instead voted to speed up the appeals process for faster executions.

While campaigning in 2016 to repeal the death penalty, Newsom, a Democrat, told The Modesto Bee that if he ever became governor, he would be “accountable to the will of the voters” on the issue. In prepared remarks Wednesday, he said that “the intentional killing of another person is wrong. And as governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual.” President Donald Trump criticized Newsom’s move Wednesday, tweeting, “Defying voters, the Governor of California will halt all death penalty executions of 737 stone cold killers. Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I!”

The governors of Oregon, Colorado, and Pennsylvania have also placed moratoriums on capital punishment. Twenty states have abolished the practice altogether through legislation or the courts.

Editor’s note: WORLD has updated this article to note that California Gov. Gavin Newsome signed the executive order on Wednesday.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @HarvestPrude.

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  • Glong
    Posted: Wed, 03/13/2019 02:46 pm

    The commandment often quoted as "Thou shalt not kill" is more appropriately translated " Thou shall do no murder." This is a contentious issue even among committed Christians. 

  • SN
    Posted: Wed, 03/13/2019 03:37 pm

    You are right.  But this shouldn't be a contentious issue among knowledgeable, Bible-believing Christians.  The teaching of the Word of God is clear and unequivocal.

    Genesis 9:5 "And surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man's brother I will require the life of man. 6 "Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.

    Matthew 26:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.

    Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.


  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 03/13/2019 03:30 pm

    I agree with Glong on this.  That is the way it has been taught to me as well. 

    Newsom says,  “the intentional killing of another person is wrong.”  It’s a national tragedy that he and the rest of the leftists refuse to believe unborn children are persons. 

  • SN
    Posted: Wed, 03/13/2019 03:42 pm

    Amen.  Ah, but they know better.  They try to appease their guilty consciences by denying the obvious, by inventing euphemisms, and by assering outright lies.